SBS's blog on news opinions and developments in the NBA, with a focus on business.

Zennie62 On YouTube

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Will Smith and Dr. J Head Group Bidding On Philadelphia 76ers - ESPN

For Will Smith I know this would be a dream come true as he's from Phili

Report: Dr. J, Will Smith in group trying to buy Sixers news services

While one group vying to buy the Philadelphia 76ers has dropped out of the running, one high-profile group remains.

According to a report from the Philadelphia Inquirer on Sunday, four groups are still in the running, including one that includes Hall of Famer Julius Erving and entertainer Will Smith, a Philadelphia native.

A venture capital fund led by Ian Berg and Wayne Kimmel abandoned their quest to buy the team from Comcast Spectacor, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiating process.

The Inquirer's unnamed source said that two finalists will be chosen by the end of the month with the winner selected by the end of the year. The same source said the winning bid will likely exceed $400 million.

NBA Brawl Video - Indiana Pacers v. Detroit Pistons - November 19, 2004

November 19, 2004 is a day I will not forget as it was one day before the Cal - Stanford Big Game and I was at Beckets in Berkeley with some friends as this happened.

What has been called "The NBA Brawl" is described as the most terrible on court event in NBA history. Larry Brown called it "the ugliest thing I've ever seen as coach or player."

Wikipedia had this text:

The game was broadcast on ESPN, with Mike Breen calling the game alongside former NBA great Bill Walton. Breen's call of the event after Artest was hit by the beer:

"Now Artest has jumped over the scorers' table, and is trying to get down to the bench! Artest is in the stands! Oh, this is awful! Fans are getting involved! Stephen Jackson's in the fans! Rasheed Wallace going into the stands! The security's trying to somehow restore order! Fans and players are going at it, and the players are trying to help each other out!"

Added Walton: "This is a disgrace."

Walton's description of the incident as the Pacers were escorted to their locker room:

"This is a low moment in NBA history."

To me the brawl is an example of almost everything that's wrong with the NBA, from the lack of security at events, to the extremely permissive set of rules the players work under. It's also an example of how unruly our society has become, as fans really contributed to the action out there, and not in a good way. Watch the video carefully. You will see more fans throwing drinks at players and generally coming apart at the seams.

Indeed, it still continues today: witness the ejection of a fan for racist comments. I'm glad he was kicked out, but why did he do it anyway?

One image will always stand out from this: Ron Artest going into the stands like a wild man.

Here's the video:

Monday, October 30, 2006

Kobe Bryant May Not Play On Tuesday - ESPN

And the Warriors game is on the next day.

Kobe hopes to be in clear after strong Monday practice news services

LOS ANGELES -- Kobe Bryant wouldn't say Monday if he'll play in the Lakers' regular-season opener against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night.

The Lakers practiced Monday at Staples Center and Bryant participated in much of the session. He has been recovering from right knee surgery and didn't play in any of the Lakers' preseason games.

"I really don't know yet," Bryant told ESPN The Magazine's Sam Alipour. "We had a great practice today [Monday], where I was moving well. I was exploding, I was jumping and dunking. And I felt good.

"I just pray that tomorrow [Tuesday] morning I'll wake up, go through the shootaround, and I won't be sore. If I'm not, I'm in the clear."

On Saturday, Bryant told Lakers coach Phil Jackson that he'd be available to play.

"He says he's going to play on Tuesday," Jackson said. "There's a disclaimer that he's doubtful. I'm sure that he'll make the correct decision. He came off the floor and he was sore, but he was on the court for a good hour and a half before he came off."

Jackson said the Lakers are prepared whether Bryant plays or not. Maurice Evans is the likely starter if Bryant sits.

Jackson, who underwent right hip-replacement surgery earlier this month, said he would coach the opener Tuesday night. He missed all the team's preseason games.

He used a cane at practice and said he has a ways to go to be mobile and active. Jackson said Saturday it's possible that he might not make the trip to Golden State on Wednesday for the Lakers' second game.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Hooman Hamzehloui's Racist Name-Calling Of Houston Rockets center Dikembe Mutombo Gets Banning From Games - ESPN

Hooman Hamzehloui will learn, the hard way it seems, not to think it's Ok to make statments that may even remotely insult someone racially.

Heckler banned for season after alleged racial slur news services

The NBA and the Orlando Magic on Monday banned for the season the fan whose alleged racial slur incited Houston Rockets center Dikembe Mutombo at a preseason game last week.

Season-ticket holder Hooman Hamzehloui allegedly called Mutombo a "monkey" Thursday in the third quarter of the Rockets-Magic game. Mutombo yelled back at Hamzehloui and gestured from the court.

Hamzehloui was ejected from the game. The league said Hamzehloui is also barred from attending games at any NBA arena this season. Orlando said it will refund his season-ticket payment.

"I will not say that I am happy about it," Mutombo told Fox 26 in Houston. "It is out of my hands. I have done my job. I have forgiven him. Whatever the commissioner and the league does, that's not my area."

According to a report in the Orlando Sentinel, Hamzehloui sent the Rockets center a letter of apology. Hamzehloui was contacted late Sunday by the newspaper and said he didn't know "using the word 'monkey' was bad."

"I would like to take a moment of your time to offer a complete and unconditional apology for my poor behavior, and in particular, my poor choice of words last Thursday night while attending the Houston-Orlando basketball game," the letter reads.

"I am by no means a racist, and if you only knew me better you would never begin to have those thoughts. What I am guilty of is poor judgment in the use of words while doing what I do to many of the visiting team's players, 'heckle them.'"

Mutombo said after the game he would go into the stands next time even if he got fined for it.

NBA spokesman Tim Frank said no action was taken against Mutombo and the matter was closed.

Hamzehloui also wrote that he would not attend another Magic game until Mutombo gives the team his approval and that he would donate $5,000 to a charity of Mutombo's choice.

Hamzehloui also wrote that he wished to apologize in person.

"That meant a lot to me," Mutombo told Fox 26 of the apology letter, but added that Hamzehloui's offer to personally apologize was not necessary. "I don't need that."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

NBA Opening Night, Wednesday, November 1st

Opening night of the NBA's coming in two days and the matchups are interesting.

Here they are:

Chicago at Orlando 7:00 PM
Atlanta at Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Indiana at Charlotte 7:00 PM
NO/Oklahoma City at Boston 7:30 PM
Toronto at New Jersey 7:30 PM
Washington at Cleveland 8:00 PM
Milwaukee at Detroit 8:00 PM
Sacramento at Minnesota 8:00 PM
NY Knicks at Memphis 8:00 PM
Houston at Utah 9:00 PM
Portland at Seattle 10:00 PM
LA Lakers at Golden State 10:30 PM
LA Clippers at Phoenix 10:30 PM

Of all of the matchups, the Lakers / Warriors game is the most interesting as it features the return of Don Nelson to Oakland.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sacramento Kings Coach Eric Musselman Gets DUI, Appologizes To Team - AP

Musselman apologizes to team, family and fans

Posted: October 22, 2006

Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A teary-eyed Sacramento Kings coach Eric Musselman apologized Sunday for his arrest a day earlier on a drunken driving charge. His players and bosses were by his side in support.

"First let me say that I'm sorry," Musselman said at Arco Arena. "I'm embarrassed and ashamed. I'm well aware of the seriousness of the situation. It's not representative of how I live my life and I will never take it lightly. It was a huge mistake on my behalf."

Musselman met with his players, who surrounded him as he addressed the media before the team held a shootaround and then left for an exhibition game against the New Orleans Hornets in Reno, Nev.

"The situation with Coach, it was the wrong thing. We don't condone it but we're going to back our coach up," said point guard Mike Bibby, who acknowledged being shocked. "Wrong or right, we're going to be with him. ... He's a grown man. He knows it wasn't right what he did."

Kings owners Gavin and Joe Maloof said no disciplinary action would be taken against the team's first-year coach, hired June 3 to replace fired coach Rick Adelman. That means Musselman will not face a fine or suspension from his bosses.

"It's not in us to do those types of things," Joe Maloof said. "We don't like fining anybody. We don't attack anybody. It's not in our nature. He said he was sorry. We told him we were disappointed."

Geoff Petrie, the Kings' president of basketball operations, said he left a message Saturday for an attorney with the NBA after Musselman called him about the arrest. The coach could face a league suspension if convicted.

"I think he understands completely the gravity of the situation in which he finds himself and the potential ramifications of that," Petrie said. "At the same time though, we don't intend to desert him in his hour of need. Certainly it was a self-inflicted wound, but it need not be or should it be a mortal wound. Eric's a terrific young coach. To this point he's done an excellent job of taking control of this team."

Musselman was pulled over at 2:15 a.m. Saturday about 11/2 miles from the State Capitol after his car was seen making a right-hand turn from the left-hand lane and cutting off another vehicle, the sheriff's department said.

Darrin May, the team's executive director of media relations, and two women were in Musselman's Mercedes. They were released.

The 41-year-old coach failed three sobriety tests and had a blood-alcohol level of 0.11, according to the arrest report. The legal limit is 0.08.

Musselman said his apology went out to the city of Sacramento and the fans, the Maloofs, Petrie, and Musselman's family -- most notably his sons, Michael and Matthew.

"The one thing that I am looking forward to is hitting the court again with the team," Musselman said.

Petrie and the Maloofs -- both showing their emotion, too -- hope this is an "isolated incident" that can serve as a reminder about the dangers of drinking and driving. The Maloofs own the Las Vegas hotel and casino, Palms.

"It's an unfortunate situation. It's uncalled for," Gavin Maloof said. "He's a good man who did a bad thing. Just like anyone else, you have to learn from your mistakes. You can go the right way or the wrong way."

The timing of Musselman's arrest is particularly bad for the Kings. On Nov. 7, voters will be asked to approve two ballot measures increasing local sales tax as part of the club's quest to build a new arena in downtown Sacramento. Both measures are considered longshots to pass.

"It's definitely not a positive," Gavin Maloof said.

This is the second head coaching job for Musselman, who was fired by the Golden State Warriors after the 2003-04 season despite leading the team to its most successful two-year stretch during a stretch of 12 straight losing seasons.

Musselman spent the past two seasons as an assistant at Memphis under Mike Fratello.

Some of the Sacramento players told team officials Sunday they didn't want to hold shootaround without Musselman -- so they followed their coach across the parking lot from the practice facility to the arena.

"That's when you're proud to own a team," Joe Maloof said. "That's one of the proudest moments I've had."

Friday, October 13, 2006

Stephon Marbury Launches The "Starbury" Shoe For $15

I just saw ESPN's "Outside The Lines" where New York Knicks Stephon Marbury introduces and talks about his new show brand called "Starbury."

The neat news about this show is it's price: just $15. In a world where Nike Basketball shoes are upwards of $100, this is a major revolution.

Why are the Reebok and Nike shoes so expensive? Well, according to the ESPN program, it only takes about $12 to make the shoe, but the other $100 goes to a giant marketing budget, which explains all the neat commercials around just a shoe.

A price at this level is a kind of gift back to the urban kids who work and in some cases do terrible jobs just to get the money to buy shoes.

Not anymore.

Now they can get a Starbury.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Stephen Jackson - Police Report - Deadspin and Slam

Deadspin gave link light to the police report originally posted at "SLAM" regarding Indiana Pacers' Stephen Jackson's arrest.

So I went to the Indy Star and got the article myself. It's not a pretty read: Sports Pacers
2:48 PM October 11, 2006

Pacers' Jackson charged in strip club fight

By Vic Ryckaert
The Indiana Pacers' Stephen Jackson may not have caused the fight, but police say he admits jumping into it, firing his gun and kicking a man who was being pummeled on the ground.

That's why he was charged Wednesday with a felony count of criminal recklessness and misdemeanor counts of battery and disorderly conduct.

Jackson is expected to surrender today during a hearing in Marion Superior Court.

The charges could trigger even more woes for Jackson because he is still on probation from a Michigan criminal case stemming from an attack on fans during a game against the Detroit Pistons.

Initially portrayed as the victim, Jackson was shocked Wednesday to learn he had been charged, said Pacers executive Larry Bird.

"This is a big blow for Stephen. He didn't expect this,'' Bird said. "He's taking it very hard."

Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said Jackson had to be charged.

"I am a Pacers fan, and it brings me no joy to file charges," Brizzi said. "However, what is most important is that everyone is treated equally under the law."

According to court documents, four Pacers -- Jackson, Jamaal Tinsley, Marquis Daniels and Jimmie "Snap" Hunter -- and several of their friends were leaving Club Rio, 5054 W. 38th St., when they exchanged words with a man.

That man, Quentin "Fingers" Willford, 24, was identified in court documents as the person who was kicked by Jackson.

Brizzi also charged two other men in connection with the fight.

Raymel Mattox, 29, the man Brizzi said instigated the fight, was charged Wednesday with disorderly conduct, battery and possession of marijuana. He is identified as Tinsley's friend.

Also arrested was Deon "Dino" Willford, 23, charged with battery, failure to stop after an accident and operating a vehicle without a license. Police said he hit Jackson with a car in the strip club parking lot as Jackson kicked his cousin.

The Willfords told police Jackson and Mattox were the aggressors. Neither man could be reached for comment.

The Pacers say they were being harassed by the Willfords inside the club and tried to ignore them. Jackson told police the Willfords may have felt "disrespected" and also may have been upset because the dancers were paying more attention to the basketball players.

Both groups of men went outdoors and words were exchanged. During the argument, Quentin Willford yelled, "Dump" -- a slang term for shoot a gun, according to the police report.

Mattox, Brizzi said, attacked Quentin Willford -- who has two short arms and deformed hands.

"After the fight started, (Jackson) went to his car, retrieved his handgun and put it on his hip," Brizzi said. "He walked over to where a handicapped person was on the ground getting stomped and beaten, kicked that person, then drew his gun and fired one to three shots into the air."

Deon Willford then allegedly drove a car into Jackson, prosecutors say. Jackson rolled over the top of the vehicle and fired several more shots.

Jackson initially said Quentin Willford struck him in the mouth, but later told police that he never got punched and that he suffered the injuries to his face and leg when he was hit by the car.

Jackson admits he fired his 9 mm handgun, police said, but said he did so in self-defense, the report stated. His attorney, James Voyles, declined comment.

Indiana Department of Correction records show that Quentin Willford served a six-year prison sentence for burglary, escape and dealing cocaine. He was released in August, records show.

Records also show Deon Willford has had previous arrests.

Police seized handguns from Jackson, Tinsley and Daniels. All three have valid permits.

Jackson, lawyers say, will have to go back to Michigan for a hearing. In the 2004 incident, Jackson, Jermaine O'Neal and Ron Artest fought with fans during an NBA game against the Detroit Pistons.

"The judge can give whatever she thinks is appropriate," Oakland County (Mich.) assistant prosecutor John Pietrofesa said. "It could be just reinstating probation. It could be some period of jail and probation or just straight jail time."

In a statement Wednesday, the team said it regrets the incident and hopes for a swift resolution.

"The NBA office has been informed and we will be in contact with league offices as the process continues," the team said. "The Pacers are strong advocates of anti-violence campaigns as they have been throughout the franchise's history."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Commissioner David Stern Wants To Curb Post Whistle Outbursts

It seems like Commissioner David Stern's working to alter Black American culture yet again. First the Dress Code, now this.

NBA promises zero tolerance for drama queens news services

The NBA might have given its players something to complain about this season -- something other than the new basketball.

In an attempt to get players to curtail post-whistle whining, NBA referee representatives have made the rounds early in training camp to emphasize the league's zero-tolerance policy.

Commissioner David Stern, long fed up with players' histrionics over questionable calls, is threatening to hit them with quick technical fouls -- and later fines -- for those who curse, throw their hands up, or make other gestures that show disgust.

Rasheed Wallace, for one, told the Detroit News he took the league's crackdown personally.

"It's just another 'Sheed Wallace rule," Wallace, shaking his head, told the newspaper. "It just means I must be doing something right. Any time they change the rules of the game for one specific player, you must be doing something right."

Stern's fine system for offenders starts at $5,000 for each instance a player or coach publicly criticizes an official. For multiple technicals, the consequences now are more severe -- $1,000 fine for the first five, $1,500 for the next five, $2,000 for the next five, $2,500 for the ones that follow, and, in addition, a one-game suspension for every other technical after the 15th. The scale was introduced last season.

"What happens if I am one of the captains?" Wallace asked the News. "Does that mean I can't talk to them? You can't talk back to them like they're your mom and dad. It's like they're saying, 'If you say something to me I am going to put you on punishment.' That's how it is. I will come up with some way to tell them how I feel."

Wallace was issued 16 technical fouls last season and a one-game suspension. It's reasonable to think, if referees consistently show zero tolerance, he could double that total.

"It'll be an adjustment for everybody in the league," the Heat's Dwyane Wade told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Heat coach Pat Riley believes players will still be able to express their opinions to officials, but will have to police their body language and tone of voice.

"They are going to be very conscious of player complaining," Riley said last week. "That's one of the big things with them. Every call, there's always 10 guys complaining to the officials. They're just telling them to cut it out."

Shaq O'Neill On "Quite Frankly" With Stephen A. Smith and Guarantees Another Ring - Video

Shaq was Stephen A. Smith's guest -- or more accurately it was the other way around. In this video, we see Shaq interview Mr. Smith in a classic turn of roles. Shaq talks about USA Basketball and its problems and how Mark Cuban's remarks were used by Pat Riley to fire up the team during the NBA Finals. Shaq also guarantees the Heat will claim another NBA title this year.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

New Jersey Nets Training Camp Video

This is a video of the opening of the 2006 New Jersey Nets training camp.

Stephen Jackson Happy To Be Alive After Strip Club Fight - ESPN

INDIANAPOLIS (ESPN)-- Indiana Pacers guard Stephen Jackson is "happy to be alive," after being punched in the mouth and hit by a car during a fight at a strip club in which police say he fired a gun in the air.

"I'm definitely blessed to be here today. I didn't really think I'd be up the next day after I got hit by a car and be walking. But I'm definitely blessed. I'm glad to be on the court. I'm happy to be alive and be able to be with my teammates and my family."
-- Stephen Jackson

"I want to apologize to my teammates, to the fans and to this organization," Jackson said Tuesday after his first practice since the fight early Friday. "It was a very unfortunate incident. I definitely take responsibility for my action and everything I've done."

Team president Larry Bird said he was disappointed, especially because the Pacers are still trying to win their fans back after the brawl with Detroit Pistons fans two years ago. Jackson was suspended 30 games for his part in the brawl.

"This is a tough one, there's no question about it," Bird said. "We're not very happy with what happened, but we've got to move on and really concentrate on the season.

"It hurts. You care about this franchise and you're a part of it, it's got to hurt."

Indianapolis police on Tuesday arrested Deon Willford, 23, on felony counts relating to the fight, including criminal recklessness and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, and a misdemeanor count of driving without a license.

Willford drove a car that hit Jackson, sending him tumbling over the hood, said Indianapolis Police spokesman Sgt. Matthew Mount. Police said Jackson fired a gun in the air in apparent self-defense during the fight.

Jackson has stitches in his lip and other scrapes and bruises.

"I'm definitely blessed to be here today," he said in his first public comments since the fight. "I didn't really think I'd be up the next day after I got hit by a car and be walking. But I'm definitely blessed. I'm glad to be on the court. I'm happy to be alive and be able to be with my teammates and my family."

He could be available to play in the Pacers' second preseason game against Utah on Saturday.

"He did more today than we expected him to," Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. "He actually did some medium contact stuff, and he just insisted on doing it. Fortunately, he didn't take any hits or anything."

Carlisle said Jackson was a little bit rusty.

"He's a little behind conditioning-wise now after missing four days," Carlisle said.

Besides Jackson, teammates Jamaal Tinsley, Marquis Daniels and Jimmie Hunter were at the club at 3 a.m., police said. Officers said they found a small amount of marijuana in the passenger-side door of point guard Tinsley's car. But no arrests were made because there were three others in Tinsley's car and police could not determine who had the marijuana, authorities said.

The Indianapolis Star reported on Monday that Jackson has had his probation extended one year after he did not complete the terms of the sentence he received for the 2004 brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Oakland County (Mich.) assistant prosecutor John Pietrofesa told the paper that last week's incident had no bearing on his decision because no charges were filed.

Former Pacers star Reggie Miller criticized the players on Monday. The league's all-time leader in 3-point goals went on Dan Patrick's ESPN Radio show and said the actions by the four players were a "punch in the gut" to team CEO Donnie Walsh and president Larry Bird. He also criticized coach Rick Carlisle, saying his training camp hasn't been difficult enough if the players have enough energy to be partying at 3 a.m.

Bird said Tuesday he had no response to Miller's comments. Tinsley said he'd rather focus on preparing for Wednesday's preseason opener against New Jersey.

"Everybody's going to have their own opinion," Tinsley said. "We're just going to go out there and play basketball and stay together and hopefully, win a lot of games."

Miller also criticized Carlisle, saying his training camp hasn't been difficult enough if the players have enough energy to be partying at 3 a.m.

Carlisle said Bird addressed the players before practice and told them he and Walsh were proud of their effort and intensity during training camp.

"I have unbelievable respect for Reggie Miller, both as a player and a person, and consider him a friend," Carlisle said. "He's obviously earned the right to have an opinion. From a basketball standpoint, we're doing everything possible to develop this team to be the best it can be."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report

Kobe Bryant Blocks Carmello Anthony's Shot

In this video, Kobe Bryant gets a good hand on Denver Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony's shot and blocks it.

Pacers Stephen Jackson Back To Practice After Strip Club Problem - Indy Star

Contrite Jackson returns
Stitches on Pacer's lips to sideline him tonight

By Mark Montieth

Stephen Jackson's feelings appeared to be bruised more than his body as he rejoined his Indiana Pacers teammates Tuesday in practice.

Jackson participated in the three-hour workout at Conseco Fieldhouse for the first time since he was involved in an incident early Friday morning outside a Westside strip club.

He issued an informal apology afterward but did not take questions.

"I'm sorry for this incident," he said. "I want to apologize to my teammates and the fans. It was definitely an unfortunate incident."

Jackson received stitches as a result of being punched in the mouth after an argument inside Club Rio spilled into the parking lot. He also was struck by a car, avoiding serious injury by jumping into the air and rolling across the hood, over the roof and off the back of the vehicle.

Indianapolis police said Jackson fired five shots with a registered handgun. He fired at least one shot before the car hit him.
Indianapolis police arrested Deon "Dino" Willford, 23, at about 1 a.m. Tuesday on initial charges of criminal recklessness, leaving the scene of an accident and driving without a license. He was held in Marion County Jail, with bond set at $100,000.
Another man, Quentin "Fingers" Willford, 24, was questioned by police but not arrested. A third man is being sought.
Jackson's lips were swollen, but he wore no bandages and was seen shooting with no problems after media were permitted to watch the end of Tuesday's practice. He will not play in tonight's first preseason game against visiting New Jersey but could play Saturday at home against Utah.

"If he breaks his stitches now, he's set back even more," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said Tuesday. "He did more today than we expected him to. Fortunately he didn't take any hits or anything."

Jackson mentioned that he did not have legal issues before or since the brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills (Mich.) in November 2004, when he was suspended by the NBA and pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault for his part in the melee. Jackson remains on probation.

He also expressed gratitude for escaping the incident without serious injury.

"I'm definitely blessed to be here today," he said. "I didn't think I'd be waking up the next morning after I got hit by a car being able to walk.

"I definitely take responsibility for my actions. Hopefully I can move on from this and be the type of player this organization wants me to be."

Pacers president Larry Bird also made his first public comments on the incident Tuesday, but limited himself in light of the ongoing investigation.

"As an organization we can't have a lot of comments about what happened because we don't know what happened," Bird said. "We don't know the full story.

"Are we disappointed? We're very disappointed. It hurts. If you care about this franchise and you're part of it, it's got to hurt."
Bird addressed the team before practice and praised their effort so far in training camp.

"They've been doing an awesome job and a lot of guys have played very well," he said.

"We're very excited about the season getting started."