Sports Outside the Beltway

NBA suspends training camps indefinitely

File this under not surprising news-

NEW YORK — The lockout has started doing real damage to the NBA’s calendar.

Players won’t report at the usual time. The preseason won’t start as scheduled.

And more cancellations could be necessary without a new labor deal soon.

Out of time to keep everything intact, the NBA postponed training camps indefinitely and canceled 43 preseason games Friday because it has not reached an agreement with players.

All games from Oct. 9-15 are off, the league said. Camps were expected to open Oct. 3.

“We have regretfully reached the point on the calendar where we are not able to open training camps on time and need to cancel the first week of preseason games,” deputy commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “We will make further decisions as warranted.”

The players’ association did not comment.

I don’t expect their to be another NBA game this year. This kind of labor conflict is usually protracted and nothing will get done till the season is on the verge of being lost. As NHL fans know from 2004-2005, even then the dispute can go over the cliff taking a whole season with it.

I have no sympathy for either owners or players. The players are rich and overindulged, the owners of small market NBA teams had to know when going in that they had little chance of making the franchise they were purchasing into NBA Championship contenders/moneymakers.


Who forgot the D? New Orleans beats Golden State 135-131

The Hornets scored their greatest amount of points in 131 years last night.

Darren Collison hoped to one day turn in the type of performances that All-Stars Chris Paul and Steve Nash have become known for during their distinguished careers.

He didn’t necessarily think it would happen in his rookie year.

Collison had 16 points and a career-high 20 assists, and the New Orleans Hornets snapped a four-game losing streak with a 135-131 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Monday night.

Collison’s assists total tied Phoenix’s Nash for the most in an NBA game this season and was one short of his teammate Paul’s franchise record.

“Those are the guys, for us young guys, that we look up to in the NBA,” Collison said. “So to be mentioned in the same breath, it’s crazy. I still think I need a lot of work, but it feels good for right now.”


The Hornets’ 135 points were a season high and fourth highest in Hornets history. The last time they scored more was 136 on April 9, 1997, against Boston.

In 1997 the Hornets were playing in Charlotte.

Currently Charlotte stands 9th in the Eastern Conference playoff race but only a .5 game out of 8th and the last postseason spot. The East is tight from 5th to 9th with Milwaukee, Toronto, Miami, Chicago, and New Orleans jostling for those spots. I don’t Miami is going to make it, and suspect whichever of these five teams do make the playoffs, will play one round and be out. Cleveland, Boston, Orlando, and Atlanta shouldn’t any problems with these teams.


Can anyone here play this game? Golden State beats Detroit 95-88

My nominee for the most embarrassing effort by both teams in a NBA game this season.

On a night filled with offensive ineptitude it was only fitting that missed free throws proved to be the deciding factor.

Stephen Curry scored 27 points and the Golden State Warriors used the hack-a-Ben strategy to finish their rally from a 14-point deficit in the second half and beat the Detroit Pistons 95-88 on Saturday night.

The Warriors shot 41 percent from the field and committed 17 turnovers but came up with their first win without scoring at least 100 points since Jan. 30, 2009, at New Orleans.

“Sometimes you don’t know how you win games, but we just stayed around long enough to make plays at the right time,” said coach Don Nelson, who has 1,326th career victories — seven shy of breaking Lenny Wilkens’ record.

Anthony Tolliver added 19 points and 14 rebounds, and C.J. Watson scored 17 points in place of injured leading scorer Monta Ellis as the Warriors snapped a five-game losing streak against the Pistons.

Golden State held Detroit without a field goal for the final 3:52, with the Pistons only point in that span coming on a free throw by Ben Wallace on one of three trips to the line after intentional fouls by the Warriors. Wallace missed five of his six attempts late in the game, including consecutive air balls in the final minute.

Air balls? There isn’t supposed to be air balls in the NBA fans.

Anyone who attended this game should ask for a refund. Requesting a better Golden State team is asking for a miracle.


Denver Nuggets Coach George Karl has cancer

He was already a prostate cancer survivor. From ESPN-

Denver Nuggets coach George Karl informed his team Tuesday afternoon that he is in another fight for his life with cancer.

Karl, who had been cancer-free since prostate surgery in July 2005, discovered a worrisome lump on his neck about six weeks ago. A biopsy determined that it was “very treatable and curable” form of neck and throat cancer, Karl said, but it will still require an intense program of radiation and chemotherapy that will probably force him to miss some regular-season games.

“Cancer is a vicious opponent,” he said. “Even the ones that are treatable, you never get a 100-percent guaranteed contract.”

Treatment will consist of 35 sessions over the next six weeks, for what the Nuggets Web site called squamous cell head/neck cancer. The sessions are expected to leave his throat extremely raw, requiring him to be fed through his stomach in the final weeks. “Keeping up your nutrition is a big part of the challenge,” he said.

While the condition is treatable, his doctor, Jacques Saari, said Karl faces a taxing treatment regimen.

I’m a cancer survivor also. If the above account is true, I’d be surprised if Karl coaches at the same time he gets treatments. No matter I wish him success in his latest cancer battle.


NBA suspends G Gilbert Arenas indefinitely

This stems from a series of incidents that took place last month. From ESPN-

The NBA has suspended the Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas indefinitely.

“Although it is clear that the actions of Mr. Arenas will ultimately result in a substantial suspension, and perhaps worse, his ongoing conduct has led me to conclude that he is not currently fit to take the court in an NBA game,” commissioner David Stern said in a statement Wednesday. “Accordingly, I am suspending Mr. Arenas indefinitely, without pay, effective immediately pending the completion of the investigation by the NBA.”

Multiple media reports over the weekend said that a dispute over a gambling debt led to a conflict between Arenas and Javaris Crittenton.

Multiple sources told that an argument commenced during a card game on the team’s overnight flight back to Washington from Phoenix on Dec. 19 and escalated into a heated exchange between Arenas and Crittenton. The Wizards had Dec. 20 off, but sources say hostilities between the two Wizards guards resumed Dec. 21 in the locker room on a practice day.

Sources say that Arenas, in response to what was said on the flight, placed the three guns on a chair near Crittenton’s locker stall and invited him to pick one before practice on Dec. 21. Sources said that Crittenton subsequently let Arenas know that he had his own gun.

The Washington Post reported in Sunday’s editions that Arenas, according to sources, was expecting Crittenton to see the guns on his chair as a joke based on the earlier back-and-forth on the plane, during which Crittenton allegedly said that he would shoot Arenas in his surgically repaired knee. But Crittenton, according to Post, reacted angrily and tossed one of the guns to the floor, saying he had his own.

In his statement, Arenas confirmed that the guns were brought out at the Dec. 21 practice.

Honestly, I’ve barely followed the Arenas saga. As part of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, players who bring firearms to practice are subject to discipline. How long will Arenas be out? Frankly, I’d be surprised if he returns this season.


Eight is Enough- Portland beats Golden State 105-89

The Trail Blazers at half strength can still whip the Warriors. From AP-

The Portland Trail Blazers keep losing players — and they keep winning games.

Brandon Roy scored 37 points, Andre Miller added 23 and the Blazers won for the sixth time in seven games with a 105-89 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night despite dressing only eight players.

“We’re just laughing because we can’t understand it either,” said Martell Webster, who had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Blazers. “We’re just going out and playing. We have nothing to lose.”

Monta Ellis continued his strong play against Portland, leading the Warriors with 30 points. Corey Maggette added 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Anthony Randolph had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Warriors, who shot 68.4 percent in the first quarter but 33.3 percent the rest of the way. They tied a season low for points and are 0-9 when scoring fewer than 100.

Blazers have been hampered by a spate of injuries and essentially used six players. Rookie forward Jeff Pendergraph started but played just 9 minutes. Shavlik Randolph, a recent acquisition with an injury hardship exemption, played less than a minute.

The most recent player Portland lost, Steve Blake, is not due to any injury but pneumonia. It is more than remarkable that the Trail Blazers have kept it together this season, alone go 22-13 like they have.


Golden State Warriors trade Stephen Jackson to Charlotte

I seriously doubt Jackson is going to be happy playing for another loser. From AP-

The Golden State Warriors on Monday offloaded disgruntled forward Stephen Jackson to a nonplayoff team, sending him to the Charlotte Bobcats instead of dealing him to one of Jackson’s preferred destinations in Cleveland.

In a deal that NBA front-office sources said came together quickly Sunday night after on-and-off talks with the Bobcats in recent weeks, Golden State agreed to send Jackson and guard Acie Law to the Bobcats in exchange for veteran swingmen Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic.


The Warriors, meanwhile, had reached the point where they felt they had to move Jackson as soon as possible in the name of team health. The Warriors were not only privately furious that Jackson would unsettle the team with a trade demand so soon after receiving an extension but also fearful that Jackson’s discontent would continue to hang over a group of promising youngsters headlined by Stephen Curry and Anthony Randolph.

So Golden State decided not to wait until Dec. 15, when rookies and players who signed contracts over the summer become eligible to be traded. Cleveland’s best offer would have provided more payroll relief, but the Warriors contend that they satisfied multiple objectives by taking the Bobcats’ offer.

Bell’s $5.3 million contract expires at season’s end, while Radmanovic is earning $6.5 million this season and is due to earn $6.9 million next season. Jackson is earning $7.7 million this season before starting a three-year contract extension worth nearly $28 million, so the long-term savings of having Radmanovic on the payroll instead of Jackson is roughly $21 million.

So Golden State traded a high priced pain in the ass for a high priced unproductive player. I just don’t see the Warriors being any better from this deal.


Golden State Warriors suspend Stephen Jackson for 2 games

He went on a ‘foul spree’ in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers. From AP-

Golden State Warriors swingman Stephen Jackson has been suspended for two exhibition games for conduct detrimental to the team.

The team said the suspension is for Jackson’s behavior Friday night against the Lakers. He picked up five fouls plus a technical foul in less than 10 minutes of action. He went to the locker room from the bench and never returned.

Jackson will miss Saturday night’s game against Phoenix in Indian Wells, Calif., and Monday’s game in Los Angeles against the Clippers.

Jackson has been unhappy with Golden State’s decline since reaching the second round of the 2007 playoffs.

Jackson has made it loud and clear that he wants to be traded. The NBA even fined him for his publicly stating so. If he doesn’t like getting millions to play for losing Golden State, I have an excellent solution. Send him to Oklahoma or Sacramento, who are as bad or worse than the Warriors.

All snark aside, the Warriors shoulld swallow this guy’s salary and just cut him loose if a trade can’t be arranged. He is no use to Golden State.


Oklahoma City Thunder fire coach P.J. Carlesimo

It didn’t take long for the recently moved NBA franchise to fire its first ever coach.

The Oklahoma City Thunder, off to a league-worst 1-12 start in their new home town, have fired coach P.J. Carlesimo.

Assistant coach Scott Brooks has been named interim coach.

The Thunder dropped their 10th straight game on Friday night, a 105-80 home loss to the New Orleans Hornets. Sources told that Carlesimo was fired before the team boarded a flight to New Orleans for Saturday’s game against the Hornets.

I can’t fault Thunder management for blaming Carlesimo after a 1-12 start. Brooks will certainly improve on that record, but it won’t take much to do it.


Cal hires Ex-Stanford coach Mike Montgomery

Knowing how much Cal and Stanford like each other, this news can only be seen as a sign of the apocalypse.

BERKELEY, Calif. – California has turned to its biggest rival to find its new basketball coach, hiring former Stanford coach Mike Montgomery on Friday to replace the fired Ben Braun. Montgomery was to be officially introduced at a news conference on campus Saturday, the school said.

Montgomery, who spent 18 years with the Cardinal, has been out of coaching since August 2006 when he was let go after two seasons in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors. He has announced college games and been an assistant athletic director at Stanford while still collecting money from the final two years of his contract with Golden State.

Braun was fired last week after 12 seasons as coach when the Bears missed the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in five years. Montgomery made the tournament his final 10 years at Stanford, winning at least one game each time.

Whether Montgomery could continue that streak at Cal would depend heavily on the decision leading scorer and rebounder Ryan Anderson makes about the NBA draft. Anderson said Thursday he would test the waters by declaring, but would not sign with an agent to leave the option open of returning to school for his junior year.

I never thought it was fair to judge a college coach till he is able to bring in his own recruits.

Montgomery was successful at Stanford, including a final four appearance 10 years ago. Because of that and his over 500 career lifetime wins, I see Montgomery having a reasonable chance at doing well at Cal. I just wonder what diehard Bear fans think about having a former Stanford Cardinal in their midst. Guess it won’t matter if Cal basketball gets invited to the NCAA tournament consistently under Montgomery.


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