National Basketball Association
NBA News Wire
  • Tuesday, September 16, 2014
    Lakers hire assistant coaches
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Los Angeles Lakers rounded out new coach Byron Scott's staff on Tuesday, announcing that Paul Pressey, Jim Eyen and Mark Madsen will be assistant coaches.

    • "I'm excited to have completed my staff with a group of individuals who each possess unique skills, but all share my vision for the future of this team," Scott said in a statement.

      Pressey formerly was an assistant under Scott with the New Orleans Hornets (2007-10) and Cleveland Cavaliers (2010-13). He also has coaching experience with the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics, helping the Spurs capture their first title in 1999.

      "Paul is a great basketball mind with vast experience," Scott said.

      Eyen was a Lakers assistant coach under Pat Riley and Mike Dunleavy from 1989-90 to 1990-92. He also worked under Dunleavy with the Milwaukee Bucks from 1992-96, the Portland Trail Blazers from 1997-2001, and the Los Angeles Clippers from 2003-09.

      From 2009-13, Eyen was on the Sacramento Kings' coaching staff.

      The Lakers also announced the appointment of Clay Moser (assistant coach/head advance NBA scout), Larry Lewis (assistant coach/director of player development), Thomas Scott (assistant coach/player development), Tom Bialaszewski (video coordinator/coach), and J.J. Outlaw (video coordinator/player development).

      Thomas Scott is Byron's son. He is a former assistant coach with the NBA Development League's Los Angeles D-Fenders.

      In addition, the Lakers promoted Rondre Jackson to director of player development and hired Jordan Wilkes as basketball operations assistant.

  • Tuesday, September 16, 2014
    Report: Robinson gets guaranteed deal from Timberwolves
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Minnesota Timberwolves are set to sign secound-round draft pick Glenn Robinson III to a guaranteed contract, Yahoo Sports reported Tuesday.

    • The No. 40 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft out of Michigan, Robinson would boost the Timberwolves' roster to 16 players with guaranteed contracts and 18 players overall.

      Robinson played for the Timberwolves' summer league team and averaged 7.7 points and shot 39 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range.

      Projected as a small forward in the NBA, Robinson faces competition at that spot with rookie Andrew Wiggins and Corey Brewer, Shabazz Muhammad and Robbie Hummel already on the roster.

      The 6-foot-6 Robinson played two seasons at Michigan and averaged 13.1 points per game and shot 48.8 percent from the field and 30.6 percent on 3-pointers.

  • Monday, September 15, 2014
    Mavericks sign guard Liz
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Dallas Mavericks have signed guard Victor Liz, according to the Fort Worth Star.

    • Liz is coming off the FIBA World Championships where he played with the Dominican Republic. He averaged only 6.5 points per game during the tournament, but did make 49 percent of his 3-point attempts.

  • Sunday, September 14, 2014
    Heat sign F Birch
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Miami Heat signed forward Khem Birch, the team announced Sunday.

    • Birch averaged 5.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.17 blocks and 19.3 minutes while shooting 47.8 percent in six Las Vegas Summer League games (all starts) with the Washington Wizards.

      Last season at UNLV, Birch averaged 11.5 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.76 blocks, 1.2 assists and 31.4 minutes while shooting 51 percent in 33 games (32 starts). He was named Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year and earned All-Defensive Team and All-Mountain West Second Team honors. He finished second in the NCAA in blocks per game and total blocks (124) and tied for seventh in total rebounds (337).

      The Heat's roster is at 17 players.

  • Saturday, September 13, 2014
    NBA roundup: Hawks apologize to their fans
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Atlanta Hawks released an open letter Saturday apologizing to their fans and the city of Atlanta because they "did not do the right thing" to correct racially-charged comments "over a period of years."

    • The apology was signed by CEO Steve Koonin. It came a day after the Hawks announced that general manager Danny Ferry was taking an indefinite leave of absence for his racially-insensitive remarks about forward Luol Deng.

      A week ago, co-owner Bruce Levenson announced he would sell his controlling share of the team after voluntarily reporting to the NBA that he made racist remarks in an email about fans.

      "We are very sorry," Koonin wrote. "Over the course of the last week, the Hawks have let down our players, our employees, our fans and the city we love. Our shortcomings have been broadly shared -- including how we have failed to operate well internally and externally. It has been humbling and, while we have read, seen and come to know many things about ourselves, our learnings have just begun."

      Ferry said that Deng, who is from South Sudan, "has a little African in him," during a recorded conference call with the team's ownership in June. "He's like a guy who would have a nice store out front and sell you counterfeit stuff out of the back."

      An internal investigation of the comments uncovered the email sent by Levenson in 2012. In the email, Levenson wrote that "the black crowd scared away the whites and there are simply not enough affluent black fans to build a significant season ticket base."

      ---Team USA forward Rudy Gay told USA Today that the broken jaw he sustained in Thursday's win over Lithuania in the FIBA World Cup in Spain came on a "dirty play."

      The Sacramento King is part of a U.S. squad that will play in the gold medal game against Serbia.

      "I've got a fracture in my jaw, a broken tooth and am going to probably need a root canal," Gay said. "The top is where I got hit. It's painful. It's uncomfortable, and it still bleeds, so I've got to continuously gargle. It is what it is, man."

      After the game, he spoke up about it in the handshake line. That started a shouting match between the two teams.

      ---The Los Angeles Clippers announced Friday that they re-signed veteran forward Hedo Turkoglu.

      Turkoglu signed a one-year veteran's minimum deal, which placed the Clippers' roster at 14 players with guaranteed contracts for this season.

      Turkoglu, 35, averaged 3.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10.3 minutes over 38 games last season for the Clippers. He signed with the team in January.

  • Saturday, September 13, 2014
    Hawks apologize for racially-charged comments
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Atlanta Hawks released an open letter Saturday apologizing to their fans and the city of Atlanta because they "did not do the right thing" to correct racially-charged comments "over a period of years."

    • The apology was signed by CEO Steve Koonin. It came a day after the Hawks announced that general manager Danny Ferry was taking an indefinite leave of absence for his racially-insensitive remarks about forward Luol Deng.

      A week ago, co-owner Bruce Levenson announced he would sell his controlling share of the team after voluntarily reporting to the NBA that he made racist remarks in an e-mail about fans.

      "We are very sorry," Koonin wrote. "Over the course of the last week, the Hawks have let down our players, our employees, our fans and the city we love. Our shortcomings have been broadly shared -- including how we have failed to operate well internally and externally. It has been humbling and, while we have read, seen and come to know many things about ourselves, our learnings have just begun."

      Ferry said that Deng, who is from South Sudan, "has a little African in him," during a recorded conference call with the team's ownership in June. "He's like a guy who would have a nice store out front and sell you counterfeit stuff out of the back."

      An internal investigation of the comments uncovered the e-mail sent by Levenson in 2012. In the e-mail, Levenson wrote that "the black crowd scared away the whites and there are simply not enough affluent black fans to build a significant season ticket base."

      "We know enough today, based on investigations conducted by the league, by external legal counsel on behalf of the team, and information that has appeared in the media, that our shortcomings are beyond a single e-mail, a single person or a single event," Koonin wrote in the letter. "To the contrary, over a period of years, we have found that there have been inflammatory words, phrases, inferences, and innuendos about race. We as an organization did not correct these failures. We did not do the right thing."

      He also wrote: "To be clear, I am angry that this has happened. I am deeply saddened and embarrassed that this has put a blemish on our team and our city, which has always been a diverse community with a history of coming together as one. We should build bridges through basketball, not divide our community and serve as a source of pain.

      "I am committed to seeing the Hawks change because of these past shortcomings. It starts by taking a hard look at ourselves, which in this case has been a particularly difficult thing to do."

      Koonin also wrote that the team will work with a diversity consultant and hire a chief diversity officer.

      Earlier in the week, Koonin cancelled a scheduled meeting with civil rights leaders. The leaders of the groups said the cancellation offended them.

      However, Koonin did write in the letter that the team will reach out to community leaders "not just now, but in an ongoing way to ensure that our values reflect, in the broadest sense, the community in which we play and work."

  • Saturday, September 13, 2014
    Gay: Broken jaw came on 'dirty play'
    By The Sports Xchange

    Team USA forward Rudy Gay told USA Today on Saturday that the broken jaw he sustained in Thursday's win over Lithuania in the FIBA World Cup in Spain came on a "dirty play."

    • The Sacramento King is part of a U.S. squad that will play in the gold medal game against Serbia.

      "I've got a fracture in my jaw, a broken tooth and am going to probably need a root canal," Gay said. "The top is where I got hit. It's painful. It's uncomfortable, and it still bleeds, so I've got to continuously gargle. It is what it is, man."

      He also said the play in which he was elbowed was unnecessary.

      After the game, he spoke up about it in the handshake line. That started a shouting match between the two teams.

      "I think (the elbow) had a little bit to do with (the situation afterward)," Gay said. "It was a dirty play, man. It was a dirty play."

      Gay said he was not sure who elbowed him. It was either center Ksistof Lavrinovic or his twin brother Darjus Lavrinovic.

      "I don't even remember; I couldn't tell them apart," he said.

      Gay had his mouth worked on until 2 a.m. Friday morning in Barcelona before flying to Madrid later in the morning.

  • Saturday, September 13, 2014
    Clippers re-sign F Turkoglu
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Los Angeles Clippers announced Friday that they re-signed veteran forward Hedo Turkoglu.

    • Turkoglu signed a one-year veteran's minimum deal, which placed the Clippers' roster at 14 players with guaranteed contracts for this season.

      "We are happy to welcome Hedo back to the Clippers," coach and team president of basketball operations Doc Rivers said in a statement. "Hedo is a versatile, veteran presence who contributed to the championship culture we are building in Los Angeles."

      Turkoglu, 35, averaged 3.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10.3 minutes over 38 games last season for the Clippers. He signed with the team in January.

  • Friday, September 12, 2014
    Ferry takes leave of absence from Hawks
    By The Sports Xchange

    Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry has taken a leave of absence following reports he made racial comments in a conference call with team owners. The comments were made in reference to veteran forward Luol Deng.

    • Hawks CEO Steve Koonin released a statement Friday afternoon saying Ferry requested the leave of absence and it had been accepted by the team.

      "This has been an incredibly difficult time for him and his family, and it is my hope that this time away from the Hawks organization allows him the privacy he needs to listen to the community, to learn about his mistakes, and to begin the long process of personal healing. As a human being, manager and friend, I wish him well as he undergoes this process," Koonin said.

      Head coach Mike Budenholzer will assume Ferry's duties.

      Ferry contended that he was reading from a scouting report on Deng and the words were not his own.

      In June, Ferry said during a conference call with Hawks co-owners about Deng that "he has a little African in him. Not in a bad way, but he's like a guy who would have a nice store out front but sell you counterfeit stuff out the back. ... For example, he can come out and be an unnamed source for a story and two days later come out and say, 'That absolutely was not me. I can't believe someone said that.' But talking to reporters, you know they can (believe it)."

      Ferry apologized for his action in a statement issued Friday. Deng signed with the Miami Heat.

      "No words can adequately describe my remorse for the hurt that I have caused many people through the statements I repeated, most importantly Luol Deng," Ferry said. "Luol is a good man who I have known for many years and he has done a tremendous amount of good for his country and around the world. I apologize to Luol and I apologize to all that I have offended.

      "As I have said, while these were not my words, I deeply regret repeating them. Almost all the background information I provided during the lengthy presentation regarding Luol was positive and my personal and professional recommendation during the call was very much in favor of adding Luol to our team, but I never should have uttered those offensive remarks and for that I apologize.

      "My focus moving forward is to tirelessly work to rebuild trust with this community and with our fans. I realize that my words may ring hollow now and my future actions must speak for me. I will maximize my time during this leave to meet with community leaders and further educate myself and others on the extremely sensitive issues surrounding race, diversity and inclusion. I will find a way to make a positive difference in this area and further learn from the sensitivity training that I will go through."

      Hawks guard Kyle Korver told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday that he spoke with Deng and his former Chicago Bulls teammate said he didn't think Ferry or the Hawks were racists.

      "Luol is such a good guy. And he's been through so much in life that I don't really think this has really even phased him," Korver said. "He told me that he didn't think that Danny or anyone with the Hawks was racist. He said he was shocked when he heard what was said, but that sometimes things just slip out. It was pretty amazing, really. He just wants everything to move on. He wants to get back to basketball."

      The Journal-Constitution also reported that the scouting information that Ferry read in the June meeting might have originated with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Deng was traded from the Bulls to the Cavaliers last season and was not happy there.

      Minority owner J. Michael Gearon Jr. and the team's other owners requested in a letter to Bruce Levenson to ask for Ferry's dismissal. Levenson, another of the team's owners, created a controversy of his own with an email that had racial overtimes about the Hawks' struggles to attract fans to games.

      NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Wednesday that the Hawks should not fire Ferry. Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri, who is black, also backed Ferry.

      "I have no idea what is happening in the Atlanta Hawks organization," Ujiri said, "but I do know how the scouting world works. We all have different ways of sharing information about players and different vocabularies to do so. It crossed a line here.

  • Friday, September 12, 2014
    Ferry's remarks heard on audio recording
    By The Sports Xchange

    An audio recording confirmed Thursday the racially insensitive comments made by Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry when speaking about free agent Luol Deng in June.

    • Ferry contended that he was reading from a scouting report on Deng and the words were not his own.

      In June, Ferry said during a conference call with Hawks co-owners about Deng that "he has a little African in him. Not in a bad way, but he's like a guy who would have a nice store out front but sell you counterfeit stuff out the back. ... For example, he can come out and be an unnamed source for a story and two days later come out and say, 'That absolutely was not me. I can't believe someone said that.' But talking to reporters, you know they can (believe it)."

      Ferry apologized for his actions. Deng signed with the Miami Heat.

      "In regards to the insensitive remarks that were used during our due diligence process, I was repeating comments that were gathered from numerous sources during background conversations and scouting about different players," Ferry said in a statement. "I repeated those comments during a telephone conversation reviewing the draft and free agency process. Those words do not reflect my views, or words that I would use to describe an individual and I certainly regret it. I apologize to those I offended and to Luol, who I reached out to Monday morning."

      Minority owner J. Michael Gearon Jr. and the team's other owners requested in a letter to Bruce Levenson to ask for Ferry's dismissal. Levenson, another of the team's owners, created a controversy of his own with an email that had racial overtimes about the Hawks' struggles to attract fans to games.

      NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Wednesday that the Hawks should not fire Ferry. Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri, who is black, also backed Ferry.

      "I have no idea what is happening in the Atlanta Hawks organization," Ujiri said, "but I do know how the scouting world works. We all have different ways of sharing information about players and different vocabularies to do so. It crossed a line here.

      "That said, we are all human. We are all vulnerable. We all make mistakes. You discover a person's true character in their ability to learn from and then move on from those mistakes. One of the truly important things we must learn is how to forgive."

      Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King also supported Ferry. King and Ferry both went to Duke.

      "I have known him since we were 15 years old," King told Grantland.com. "He is like a brother to me and he is the furthest thing from a racist."

  • Thursday, September 11, 2014
    NBA roundup: George apologizes for Rice-related tweet
    By The Sports Xchange

    Indiana Pacers forward Paul George apologized Thursday for insensitive remarks made via Twitter in reaction to the NFL announcing the indefinite suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.

    • "I want to apologize to all victims of domestic abuse for my insensitive tweets," George said in a team-issued statement. "They were obviously without proper understanding of the seriousness of the situation and I sincerely regret my poor choice of words."?

      Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird also apologized on the franchise's behalf.

      George originally tweeted that Rice should still be able to play football. He also tweeted:

      "I don't condone hittin women or think it's coo BUT if SHE ain't trippin then I ain't trippin.. Lets keep it movin lol let that man play!"

      He also tweeted:

      "If you in a relationship and a woman hit you first and attacking YOU.. Then you obviously ain't beatin HER. Homie made A bad choice! #StayUp"

      George is recovering from a severe leg injury suffered in a Team USA scrimmage in Las Vegas.

      --The Brooklyn Nets announced the signing of center Jerome Jordan. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

      Last season, Jordan played with Virtus Bologna of the Italian League. He spent the 2012-13 season in the NBA Development League.

      The 7-foot Jordan, who played his college ball at Tulsa, was a member of the New York Knicks for 21 games during the 2011-12 season.

      --Los Angeles Lakers' star Kobe Bryant was back in Germany this week to have his knees examined by the surgeon who performed a platelet-rich plasma treatment known as Orthokine on his right knee.

      Since having the procedure in October, Bryant has said his degenerative knee condition has not bothered him as much as it had in the past.

      Probasketballtalk.com said Bryant is undergoing another round of Orthokine while visiting Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt.

  • Thursday, September 11, 2014
    Nets sign 7-footer Jordan
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Brooklyn Nets announced Thursday the signing of center Jerome Jordan. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

    • Last season, Jordan played with Virtus Bologna of the Italian League. He spent the 2012-13 season in the NBA Development League.

      The 7-foot Jordan, who played his college ball at Tulsa, was a member of the New York Knicks for 21 games during the 2011-12 season.

  • Thursday, September 11, 2014
    Report: Kobe back in Germany for knee procedure
    By The Sports Xchange

    Los Angeles Lakers' star Kobe Bryant was back in Germany this week to have his knees examined by the surgeon who performed a platelet-rich plasma treatment known as Orthokine on his right knee.

    • Since having the procedure in October, Bryant has said his degenerative knee condition has not bothered him as much as it had in the past.

      Probasketballtalk.com said Bryant is undergoing another round of Orthokine while visiting Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt.

      Bryant has the procedure in Germany because it has yet to be approved by the FDA in the United States.

  • Thursday, September 11, 2014
    Pacers' George apologizes for Rice tweets
    By The Sports Xchange

    Indiana Pacers forward Paul George apologized Thursday for insensitive remarks made via Twitter in reaction to the NFL announcing the indefinite suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.

    • "I want to apologize to all victims of domestic abuse for my insensitive tweets," George said in a team-issued statement. "They were obviously without proper understanding of the seriousness of the situation and I sincerely regret my poor choice of words."?

      Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird also apologized on the franchise's behalf.

      "Paul George's tweets from earlier were thoughtless and without regard to the subject of domestic violence and its seriousness in society. We have talked to Paul to strongly express our displeasure and made it clear that the NBA and the Pacers' organization will not condone or tolerate remarks of this nature," the statement read. "Paul understands that he was wrong and why his tweets were so inappropriate and is very apologetic."

      Statement from Paul George:

      A series of tweets that drew harsh reaction on social media followed George's initial plea to "act on this police violence like we actin on this Ray Rice case! Stay strong homie !"

      Then, George wrote:

      "I don't condone hittin women or think it's coo BUT if SHE ain't trippin then I ain't trippin.. Lets keep it movin lol let that man play!"

      "I get it tho NFL.. You just don't hit women!"

      "If you in a relationship and a woman hit you first and attacking YOU.. Then you obviously ain't beatin HER. Homie made A bad choice! #StayUp"

      George is recovering from a severe leg injury suffered in a Team USA scrimmage in Las Vegas.

  • Wednesday, September 10, 2014
    Warriors extend West's contract
    By The Sports Xchange

    Jerry West will remain a consultant with the Golden State Warriors through the 2016-2017 after agreeing to a contract extension, the San Jose Mercury News reported Wednesday.

    • West had one year left on his original contract deal and the extension adds two years.

      At age 76, West was considering retirement, particularly after the firing of Mark Jackson as Warriors coach after last season, but he is motivated to help Golden State become a championship contender, according to the report.

      West had a long and successful career as a player and executive with the Los Angeles Lakers before he was hired by the Warriors in 2011.

      According to the Mercury News, West and new coach Steve Kerr pushed to keep guard Klay Thompson this summer when team owner Joe Lacob and general manager Bob Myers wanted to trade him for Kevin Love.

  • Wednesday, September 10, 2014
    Hawks re-sign Brand
    By The Sports Xchange

    In the midst of controversy surrounding general manager Danny Ferry and minority owner Bruce Levenson, the Atlanta Hawks re-signed forward Elton Brand to a one-year, $2 million contract, according to Yahoo Sports on Wednesday.

    • Brand averaged 5.7 points and 4.9 rebounds and shot 53.9 percent from the field last season for the Hawks.

      The 2014-15 season will be Brand's 16th in the NBA.

      Levenson is selling his stake in the team and Ferry is taking heat for comments about free agent Luol Deng during the summer.

  • Wednesday, September 10, 2014
    Silver: Hawks shouldn't fire Ferry
    By The Sports Xchange

    NBA commissioner Adam Silver doesn't believe Danny Ferry should be fired from his job as Atlanta Hawks general manager.

    • Ferry is under fire for comments he made about Loul Deng when the Hawks were pursuing him during free agency over the summer.

      "The discipline of a team employee is typically determined by the team, and in this case the Hawks hired a prestigious Atlanta law firm to investigate the circumstances of Danny Ferry's clearly inappropriate and unacceptable remarks," Silver told USA Today. "In my view, those comments, taken alone, do not merit his losing his job.

      "It's a question of context ... These words, in this context, understanding the full story here, the existence of the scouting report, the fact that he was looking at the scouting report as a reference when he was making these remarks, what I’m saying is -- and frankly my opinion -- is that this is a team decision in terms of what the appropriate discipline is for their employee. But if I’m being asked my view, I'm saying that, based on what I know about the circumstances, I don't think it's a terminable offense."

      In speaking with team minority owners in June about Deng, Ferry said: "He has a little African in him. Not in a bad way, but he's like a guy who would have a nice store out front but sell you counterfeit stuff out the back. ... For example, he can come out and be an unnamed source for a story and two days later come out and say, 'That absolutely was not me. I can't believe someone said that.' But talking to reporters, you know they can (believe it)."

      Ferry apologized for his remarks, which he said he was reading from a scouting report.

      The Hawks offered Deng a two-year, $20 million contract, but he signed with the Miami Heat.

  • Wednesday, September 10, 2014
    Warriors sign guard Barbosa
    By The Sports Xchange

    Free agent guard Leandro Barbosa signed with the Golden State Warriors, the team announced on Wednesday. Terms of the deal were not released.

    • The 6-3 Barbosa, 31, played in 20 games with the Phoenix Suns last season, averaging 7.5 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 18.4 minutes per game.

      The native of Brazil spent the first part of the season with Sao Paulo-based Pinheiros/Sky, averaging 15.9 points and 3.1 assists in eight Brazilian League games.

      An 11-year NBA veteran, Barbosa owns career marks of 11.9 points, 2.3 assists, 2.2 rebounds and 23.7 minutes in 649 games (111 starts) with the Suns, Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics.

      Barbosa earned the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in 2006-07 after posting career highs of 18.1 points and 4.0 assists to go with 2.7 rebounds and 1.20 steals in 80 games (12 starts) with the Suns.

      He was selected 28th overall by the by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2003 NBA Draft.

  • Wednesday, September 10, 2014
    Hawks call off meeting with civil rights leaders
    By The Sports Xchange

    Civil rights leaders, already unhappy with the Atlanta Hawks, were upset further on Wednesday when their scheduled meeting with CEO Steve Koonin of the Hawks was canceled.

    • Rev. Markel Hutchins said Wednesday's meeting was called off "at the last minute," saying he received a call from Hawks spokesman Garin Narain on Tuesday night asking that it be postponed.

      Hutchins said he needed to hear that request directly from Koonin.

      Civil rights leaders asked for the meeting to discuss what they called the Hawks' "disrespect for people of color."

      The request for a meeting followed racially charged comments by co-owner Bruce Levenson and general manager Danny Ferry of the Hawks.

      The Hawks said Ferry has been punished but won't be fired.

  • Wednesday, September 10, 2014
    Report: Billups says he is retiring
    By The Sports Xchange

    Guard Chauncey Billups, who was the 2004 NBA Finals MVP when he led the Detroit Pistons to a championship, told Yahoo Sports on Monday that he is retiring after 17 seasons.

    • Billups missed 169 games the last three years, and the Pistons declined the team option on his contract over the summer.

      Billups, a five-time All-Star, said he had some options to play this season, but decided to call it quits.

      "It's just time. I know when it's time," Billups told Yahoo Sports. "My mind and my desire is still strong. I just can't ignore the fact that I haven't been healthy for three years. I can try again and get to a point where I think I can go, but I just can't sustain. Me not being able to play the way that I can play, that's when you kind of know it's that time.

      "It's just time. I'm happy, excited. The game was very, very good to me. I felt like I was equally as good to the game the way I played it and the way I respected it and the way I carried myself through the process."

      Billups, the No. 3 overall pick in the 1997 draft by the Celtics, played for seven NBA teams. He finished with a career average of 15.8 points and 5.4 assists.

      His best season was 2005-2006 with the Pistons, when he averaged 18.5 points and 8.6 assists.

      In 2013-2014 he played in just 19 games for Detroit, averaging 3.8 points and 16.3 minutes per game.

  • Tuesday, September 9, 2014
    Ferry apologizes for insensitive Deng comment
    By The Sports Xchange

    Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry apologized Tuesday for reading culturally insensitive remarks about Luol Deng in a June conference call.

    • Deng, a forward who signed a free agent deal with the Miami Heat in July, issued a statement that said he was disappointed and saddened about by the incident.

      Ferry, who said he was reading from the player's background report, said of Deng, a fellow Duke alumnus and native of South Sudan: "He has a little African in him, not in a bad way, but he's a guy who would have a nice store out front, but sell you counterfeit stuff out of the back."

      On Tuesday, Ferry released the apology after first trying to reach Deng.

      "In regards to the insensitive remarks that were used during our due diligence process, I was repeating comments that were gathered from numerous sources during background conversations and scouting about different players," Ferry said. "I repeated those comments during a telephone conversation reviewing the draft and free agency process. Those words do not reflect my views, or words that I would use to describe an individual and I certainly regret it. I apologize to those I offended and to Luol, who I reached out to Monday morning."

      Deng replied in a statement that read, in part, "Concerning my free agency, the focus should purely have been on my professionalism and my ability as an athlete. Every person should have the right to be treated with respect and evaluated as an individual, rather than be reduced to a stereotype. I am saddened and disappointed that this way of thinking still exists today. I am even more disturbed that it was shared so freely in a business setting."

      NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson tweeted Tuesday, "Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry should step down after making racist statements about NBA player Luol Deng."

      Ferry's remarks were part of a chain of events that led to Hawks majority owner Bruce Levenson putting his controlling interest in the team up for sale.

      Levenson announced Sunday that he would sell his share in the team because of the "inappropriate and offensive" internal email sent in 2012 regarding the lack of white fans at Philips Arena.

      The nature of the Ferry's discipline was not disclosed by the team. While Levenson appears on the way out, Ferry will remain the team's general manager.

      Deng ended up signing a two-year, $20 million contract with the Miami Heat in July.

      A member of the Atlanta-based ownership raised a concern over the comment. That prompted an internal investigation conducted by council. The law firm of Alston and Bird spoke to 19 people and reviewed more than 24,000 documents, Hawks CEO Steve Koonin told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Sunday night.

      The investigation discovered an email written by Levenson, directed to Ferry and fellow Washington D.C. based co-owners Ed Peskowitz and Todd Foreman, that contained inflammatory remarks.

      According to Koonin, in the meeting to discuss free agency, a player was being discussed and Ferry cited a background report that included an "offensive and racist" remark.

      "Instead of editing it, he (Ferry) said the comment," Koonin told the Journal-Constitution.

      The meeting took place less than two months after NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Donald Sterling, the Los Angeles Clippers' former owner, for life and started proceedings to force him to sell the team when racist comments he made became public. After a short court battle involving Sterling, his estranged wife Shelly and the league, the team was sold to former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.

      Levenson had been one of the most outspoken owners against Sterling's actions.

      After Levenson's email was found, the Hawks informed the NBA, which launched its own investigation.

      Although no punishment decision had been reached, Levenson chose to sell the team on his own, several sources told ESPN.

      In the email, Levenson said he concluded that "southern whites" were uncomfortable at games.

      "My theory is that the black crowd scared away the whites and there are simply not enough affluent black fans to build a significant season ticket base," Levenson wrote.

      "Please don't get me wrong. There was nothing threatening going on in the arena back then. I never felt uncomfortable, but I think southern whites simply were not comfortable being in an arena or at a bar where they were in the minority."

      Levenson wrote that the crowds at Hawks games are 70 percent black, too many of the team's cheerleaders are black and too much hip-hop music is played.

      "Then I start looking around at other arenas. It is completely different," Levenson wrote.

      Levenson also wrote, "I have even (complained) that the kiss cam is too black."

      The Hawks have made the playoffs in each of the past seven seasons, the longest current streak in the Eastern Conference and second-longest in the NBA behind the San Antonio Spurs' 17.

      The Hawks finished 28th in attendance last season.

      The Hawks' ownership group has a cluster of owners based in Atlanta and a cluster based in Washington, D.C., that includes Levenson. The group, which operates as Atlanta Spirit LLC, has been divided frequently since it bought the team in 2005.

      Deng, 29, spent last season with the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers, averaging 16 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. Over his 10-year career, which began with the Bulls in 2004-05, he averages 16 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists. He signed a two-year, $20 million contract with the Heat.

  • Tuesday, September 9, 2014
    NBA roundup: Ferry apologizes for comments
    By The Sports Xchange

    Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry issued an apology for reading culturally insensitive remarks about Luol Deng in a June conference call.

    • Ferry, who said he was reading from the player's background report, said this of Deng, a fellow Duke alumnus and native of Sudan: "He has a little African in him, not in a bad way, but he's a guy who would have a nice store out front, but sell you counterfeit stuff out of the back."

      On Tuesday, Ferry released the apology after first trying to reach Deng. That was part of a chain of events that led to Hawks majority owner Bruce Levenson putting his controlling interest in the team up for sale. Levenson announced Sunday that he would sell his share in the team because of the "inappropriate and offensive" internal email sent in 2012 regarding the lack of white fans at Philips Arena.

      The nature of the Ferry's discipline was not disclosed by the team. While Levenson appears on the way out, Ferry will remain the team's general manager.

      ---Detroit Pistons forward-center Greg Monroe received a two-game suspension without pay from the NBA on Tuesday after he pleased guilty to driving while visibly impaired in violation of Michigan state law.

      Monroe will sit out the first two games of the 2014-15 regular season.

      The Pistons just signed Monroe to a one-year qualifying offer Monday. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the Detroit Free Press reported that the deal is worth $5.5 million. Monroe, the seventh overall pick by the Pistons in the 2010 draft, averaged 15.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.1 steals and 32.8 minutes in a career-high 82 games (all starts) last season.

      ---Shawn Marion and the Cleveland Cavaliers confirmed Tuesday that the veteran forward signed with the team.

      Reports surfaced in August that Marion and the Cavs had reached a one-year contract agreement. On Tuesday morning, Marion wrote "done deal" on an Instagram post and the Cavs followed with an official announcement.

      The 36-year-old Marion started 76 games for the Dallas Mavericks last season and averaged 10.4 points while shooting 48 percent from the field. He was attracted to Cleveland by the chance to play with LeBron James, who was signed by the Cavaliers in the offseason. Marion is expected to be a sub off the bench for the Cavs.

  • Tuesday, September 9, 2014
    Marion officially joins Cavaliers
    By The Sports Xchange

    Shawn Marion and the Cleveland Cavaliers confirmed Tuesday that the veteran forward signed with the team.

    • Reports surfaced in August that Marion and the Cavs had reached a one-year contract agreement. On Tuesday morning, Marion wrote "done deal" on an Instagram post and the Cavs followed with an official announcement.

      “Shawn brings great versatility, talent and championship experience to the team,” Cavs general manager David Griffin said. "He will impact both ends of the floor and his ability to guard multiple positions will be particularly important for us.

      "Shawn is an accomplished, high-caliber veteran that will help with leadership on and off the court and we're very happy to welcome him to the Cavaliers family."

      The Cavs landed Marion despite only being able to sign him for a league minimum salary of $1.4 million this season, according to reports. The Cavs did not disclose terms of the contract.

      "I'm excited to be a Cavalier," Marion said. "I can see the hunger and mentality of everyone in the organization and l look forward to being a part of it. The goal is to win a championship and that's what I want."

      The 36-year-old Marion started 76 games for the Dallas Mavericks last season and averaged 10.4 points while shooting 48 percent from the field. Several other teams pursued Marion, including the Indiana Pacers, in part because of his defensive ability.

      Marion was attracted to Cleveland by the chance to play with LeBron James, who was signed by the Cavaliers in the offseason. The Cavs still could add veteran guard Ray Allen to the roster before the season begins.

      Marion is expected to be a sub off the bench for the Cavs.

      In 15 NBA seasons with the Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors and Mavericks, Marion has averaged 15.8 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.

      The 6-foot-7 Marion is also one of four players in NBA history with at least 17,000 points, 9,000 rebounds, 1,500 steals and 1,000 blocks. The others are Hakeem Olajuwon, Karl Malone and Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Garnett.

  • Tuesday, September 9, 2014
    Pistons' Monroe suspended for two games
    By The Sports Xchange

    Detroit Pistons forward-center Greg Monroe received a two-game suspension without pay from the NBA on Tuesday after he pleased guilty to driving while visibly impaired in violation of Michigan state law.

    • Monroe will sit out the first two games of the 2014-15 regular season.

      "The organization is aware of the matter resulting in the NBA's announced two-game suspension for Greg Monroe," the Pistons said in a statement. "Greg has taken responsibility in a conscientious manner and resolved the matter with his representatives."

      The Pistons just signed Monroe to a one-year qualifying offer Monday. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the Detroit Free Press reported that the deal is worth $5.5 million.

      "I take full responsibility for my actions and made a regrettable mistake," Monroe said in a statement released by the Pistons. "I apologize to my family, the Pistons' organization, my teammates and fans. I will learn from this and continue my work to be a positive influence in the community."

      Monroe, the seventh overall pick by the Pistons in the 2010 draft, averaged 15.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.1 steals and 32.8 minutes in a career-high 82 games (all starts) last season. In 309 career games (277 starts), Monroe has averaged 14.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.2 steals in 31.3 minutes per game.

  • Monday, September 8, 2014
    NBA roundup: Hawks to discipline GM Ferry
    By The Sports Xchange

    Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry will be disciplined by the team for reading aloud at a June meeting a racist comment from a player's background report.

    • A chain of events involviing Ferry led to Hawks majority owner Bruce Levenson putting his controlling interest in the team up for sale, officials told ESPN.com.

      Levenson announced Sunday that he would sell his share in the team because of the "inappropriate and offensive" internal email sent in 2012 regarding the lack of white fans at Philips Arena.

      The nature of the Ferry's discipline was not disclosed by the team. According to ESPN sources, Ferry will remain the team's general manager.

      Miami Heat swingman Luol Deng was the free-agent player being discussed in a call among the Hawks' owners in June when a racist comment was read from a background report by Ferry, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

      An investigation discovered an email written by Levenson, directed to Ferry and fellow Washington D.C. based co-owners Ed Peskowitz and Todd Foreman, that contained inflammatory remarks.

      --Marvin Barnes, a talented but troubled player who led Providence to the 1973 Final Four, has died at the age of 62, according to the Providence Journal.

      The cause of death was not specified.

      He was drafted with the No. 2 overall pick in the 1974 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, but decided to play in the American Basketball Association for the Spirits of St. Louis.

      Following his career, he had substance abuse problems and frequent run-ins with the law.

      --The Detroit Pistons signed forward Greg Monroe to a one-year qualifying offer.

      Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the Detroit Free Press reported that the deal is worth $5.5 million.

      Monroe and the Pistons couldn't agree to a long-term contract extension during the summer nor work out a sign-and-trade agreement with another team.

      ---The Golden State Warriors signed free agent guard Justin Holiday, who played on the Warriors NBA Summer League team in Las Vegas.