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.


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.


LA Clippers fire Coach Mike Dunleavy

He had a record of 215-326 leading the team. From ESPN-

The Los Angeles Clippers have decided to make a coaching change with just 32 games left in the season, relieving Mike Dunleavy of his duties, the team announced on Thursday.

The Clippers have named assistant Kim Hughes as interim coach.

Dunleavy, who has been serving as the Clippers’ coach/general manager since Elgin Baylor left the club early last season, will retain his front-office title.


The Clippers began play Thursday with the 12th-best record in the Western Conference, seven games out of a playoff spot at 21-28.

Dunleavy has been a head NBA almost continuously for the last 20 years, the last seven of which were with the Clippers. The Clippers were doing better this season than last year’s horrible 19-63 but still Dunleavy hasn’t been able to turn around this moribund franchise. It looks about time to me to try giving someone else a chance.


Milwaukee Coach Scott Skiles hospitalized for an irregular heartbeat

Since he was hospitalized before a game with the Phoenix Suns, Jim Boylan coached in his his absence. From AP-

Milwaukee Bucks coach Scott Skiles was hospitalized with an irregular heartbeat before Monday night’s 105-101 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

Jim Boylan, who coached in Skiles’ absence, said the coach was doing well.

“He’s fine,” Boylan said. “He’ll be joining us in Portland. He has a little arrhythmia.”

Skiles spoke to the media shortly before the game and showed no signs of illness.

A team spokesman said Skiles was hospitalized for precautionary purposes.

Get well Coach.


Portland Guard Steve Blake has pneumonia

The Trailblazers have been so beset with injuries this year that team owners may begin investing in hospitals. From AP-

Trail Blazers guard Steve Blake has been hospitalized with pneumonia.Steve Blake

Portland says Blake is expected to remain in the hospital for several days. He is averaging 7.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists this season.

Portland forward LaMarcus Aldridge has a sprained left ankle and is expected to miss Saturday’s game against Golden State.

The Blazers have been beset by injuries this season and have received two hardship roster exemptions from the league.

All joking aside, a case of pneumonia can be very serious business. It was for me in 2008, when I came down with it while recovering from open heart surgery. Get well Steve Blake.

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Portland Center Joel Przybilla out for the season

The Trailblazers should open their own hospital ward. From AP-

Trail Blazers center Joel Przybilla had surgery Thursday to repair his ruptured right patella tendon.

Przybilla is expected to miss the rest of the season after hurting his leg during Portland’s 85-81 victory at Dallas on Tuesday night. He went up for a rebound and came down awkwardly with 3:12 left in the first quarter.

Przybilla averaged 4.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 30 games.

The Blazers have been beset by so many injuries this season that the NBA granted the team an exemption to carry 16 players on its roster.

Portland also is without center Greg Oden (left knee), forwards Nicolas Batum (shoulder), Travis Outlaw (left foot) and Rudy Fernandez (back), and rookies Patrick Mills (right foot) and Jeff Pendergraph (hip).

Another starter, Brandon Roy, has a strained shoulder.


Bad timing- Milwaukee Bucks rookie Brandon Jennings fined for twitter message

It had nothing to do with what the Guard said in his post. From AP-

Bucks rookie Brandon Jennings has been fined $7,500 for posting a message on his Twitter account after Milwaukee’s 108-101 double overtime win over Portland last weekend.

Jennings was fined for the timing of his post, not the content when he tweeted: “Back to 500. Yess!!! “500″ means where doing good. Way to Play Hard Guys.”

The fine was announced Friday before the Bucks played at Cleveland.

According to the NBA’s social media policy, players cannot tweet during game time, defined as beginning 45 minutes before the game starts and ending after players have finished talking to the media following the game.

Like a pro basketball player will say something intelligent insightful to the press. “You know, we won the game and…..”


The Dirty Dozen- Milwaukee Bucks beat New Jersey 99-85

Chris Douglas-Roberts scored a career high 31 points in the game. From AP-

MILWAUKEE — Brandon Jennings knew it was a gamble. So far, all the odds have been in the rookie’s favor.

Jennings made a swipe and slam past two stunned Nets during a 15-0 run to start the second half, Andrew Bogut and Carlos Delfino each scored 21 points, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat winless New Jersey 99-85 on Wednesday night.

“He saw the whole thing develop,” Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. “That was a big momentum break for us. It was a big steal and you got to see the little fella down there dunk the ball.”

Jennings, who jammed a finger and got kneed twice that left him limping in the fourth quarter, said he took a beating against the Nets. But his nifty steal between Chris Douglas-Roberts and Rafer Alston was the more demoralizing blow.

Brandon Jennings, the 10th overall selection in the last NBA draft, is already making his mark in Milwaukee. Can he have the Bucks seriously challenging Cleveland for supremacy in the Central Division?

As for the 0-12 Nets, they are still four games short of their worst losing streak record. A mark that was set in 1978. I wonder how many Net player personal appearances have been sold recently and how much they’re going for.


Former UAB and NBA Basketball player Alan Ogg dead at 42

Very sad and RIP.

Alan Ogg, a 7-foot-2 shotblocker who played for UAB Blazers and spent parts of three seasons in the NBA, died Sunday from complications from a staph infection, a university spokesman said. He was 42.Ogg

UAB spokesman Norm Reilly said Ogg died at UAB Hospital.

Ogg played 80 NBA games over three seasons beginning in 1990 with the Miami Heat, who had a moment of silence Sunday night before playing Chicago. He also played for Milwaukee and Washington, and averaged 2.2 points and 1.7 rebounds during his career.

Ogg is UAB’s career leader with 266 blocked shots over four seasons, averaging more than two a game.


Phoenix Suns fire coach Terry Porter after 4 months on the job

He had a record of 28-23 before getting the axe. From AP-

The Phoenix Suns have fired coach Terry Porter, just four months into his first season with the club and the sputtering team barely in playoff contention. Assistant Alvin Gentry was appointed interim coach.

Phoenix (28-23) lost five of eight going into the All-Star break and trails Utah by one game for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.

Gentry promised a return to the fast-paced style that best utilizes the team’s talent, particularly the skills of playmaker Steve Nash.

“We are who we are and I think we have to go back to trying to establish a breakneck pace like we’ve had in the past,” Gentry said at a news conference announcing his promotion.

The Suns are the eighth team to fire a coach this season, meaning more than one-quarter of the league’s coaches are gone at the All-Star break.

Most of the eight coaches who lost their jobs were with bad teams and you say their earned the pink slip. The firing of Porter and Maurice Cheeks in Philadelphia look shaky to me. Is four months as head coach with an organization enough time to prove yourself?


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