September 2, 2015 | 3:28 pm EDT Update
The journey Jordan Clarkson experienced as an emerging rookie briefly veered from his basketball development toward business. Excel Sports Management and Clarkson parted ways last month, according to league sources familiar with the situation. Though Excel Sports Management cut ties with Clarkson, the Lakers rookie guard also felt frustrated with the agency’s communication and conflicting information about marketing opportunities, according to a league source familiar with his thinking. Clarkson had worked with agents Mike George and Jeff Schwartz.
Robyn Hayward: This is a poem Gordon wrote for me for the night he proposed (just ran across it)… Our proposal is a wonderful story (thanks to him for his thoughtfulness and creativity). This is just a piece of what the proposal was like- this poem was my first clue to a scavenger hunt he had set up for me in Indiana while he pretended he couldn’t be in town on Christmas Eve, but really he was the last surprise just waiting for me on his knee
September 2, 2015 | 1:58 pm EDT Update
The Suns have at least three players for each of the guard and forward spots. With only Tyson Chandler and Alex Len in the middle, the Suns may look for another center. That center may be Henry Sims. Sims already has been in Phoenix for a week, participating in the voluntary workouts that started in earnest two weeks early with 10 contract players at US Airways Center daily. “This is an opportunity for me to show what I can do for a team that can make the playoffs,” Sims said. “I want to show the NBA I can do what I was doing there (in Philadelphia) on any team and do more. It gives me an extra boost of energy to be here for a potential playoff team.”
Newly acquired starting point guard Ty Lawson said the trade from the Denver Nuggets to the Houston Rockets will be a fresh start and that he’s the missing piece the team needs in its quest to reach the NBA Finals. “Oh yeah, for sure,” Lawson told Fox 26 Houston. “I was like, before I even came to the team, I was talking to James Harden. I was like, ‘Man get me over there.’ I’ll be that piece to get over the hump. It’s definitely a breath of fresh air.”
The Rockets dealt four backup players to the Nuggets in the July deal. As part of the trade, Lawson agreed to make the final year of his contract in the 2016-17 season worth $13.2 million, non-guaranteed. “It’s a huge chance,” he told Fox 26. “[The Rockets] went to the Western Conference finals [this past season] and could have won, but you just needed a couple of extra pieces. So I’m excited to be playing in a situation where I know I have a chance to win.”
Speaking of Kobe, Russell also put his amusingly accurate Kobe imitation up on display at the NBA rookie photo shoot in New York this summer, but although the 19-year-old has his Kobe impersonation down pat, he’s really hoping to pave his own path. “When people say ‘the next Kobe,’ there’s not going to be a next Kobe, there’s not going to be a next Michael Jordan. But, there’s something you can steal from all those players, stir it up and get what you get out of it. And, I want to be that player that’s the next D’Angelo Russell.”
After the backlash he received when his complimentary Tracy McGrady tweet created a bit of a social media firestorm among die-hard Kobe Bryant fans, Russell was quick to clarify that he was by no means disrespecting Bryant. “I’m not disrespecting Kobe. No disrespect to anybody, there’s never going to be a ‘next one’ of those icons that you consider in this era.”
Nick Young appears to be in between sneaker deals at the moment, which explains why the Lakers star has taken to Twitter a couple of times recently to chat with his followers about footwear. He did so yesterday, asking followers what sneakers they’d like to see him wear in the upcoming NBA season. The Q&A went better than his last one, and the Lakers shooting guard even said that he has his own sneaker coming.
They might not have to wait too long. Simmons is launching a show with HBO, becoming heavily involved with HBO Sports, and also working with HBO Now, its recent digital product aimed at cord-cutting millennials. (He also recently announced the launch of a new podcast.) And Simmons may not be shopping his online commentary for very long. Many expect Simmons to soon launch his own content site modeled after Grantland, his hub at ESPN.
September 2, 2015 | 11:38 am EDT Update
“He moves a lot better,” new Pelicans strength and conditioning coach Jason Sumerlin said. “He was jumping and dunking every play (in Los Angeles). He’s been working.” “Ryan Anderson is in the best shape of his basketball life,” tweeted Pelicans TV broadcaster Joel Meyers, who visited the voluntary workouts in Southern California.
Sumerlin also spent time this summer in L.A. with Pelicans veterans such as Anthony Davis, Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday and Quincy Pondexter. In a July conference call with Pelicans season ticket holders, Alvin Gentry said Evans has lost 12 pounds. “Tyreke has lost weight and is leaner,” Sumerlin said. “Eric looks great too and has gotten leaner. He has a strength coach (in California) who I am close with and has done a great job with Eric. Everyone is looking good and guys are excited about the season.”
Nowitzki ranked second on the team behind Chandler during the regular season, pulling down 5.9 boards an outing. He attempted to shoulder more of the rebounding responsibility in the playoffs, pulling down 10.4 boards a contest as the Mavs eventually fell to the Rockets in five games. The 7-footer now says it will take a collective effort on the glass for the Mavericks to compete against the upper-echelon teams this season. “I mean, there’s a lot of good teams,” Nowitzki said. “The top teams are pretty loaded, so we’ll just keep working and hopefully get better as a team. On the defensive end, rebounding is going to be a challenge for this team every night. And if we do those two things, we feel like we can compete at the highest level with any team.”
Losing starting center Tyson Chandler, who averaged a team-best 11.5 boards a game last season, certainly won’t help the Mavericks in their attempt to improve in the rebounding department. However, according to Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, improving the rebounding numbers will take top billing for the new-look team as it tries to turn a weakness into a strength. “We’ve got to get some monsters that push and shove, throw people out of the way and go get the ball,” Carlisle confessed when addressing the rebounding concerns last season. “We’ve got to get more of those guys. We’ve got to block out and we’ve got to have five guys going (for the rebound) all the time. And when it matters, we’ve got to get the rebounds.”
Jon Krawczynski: AP sources say Excel Sports Management severed ties with Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson last month.
September 2, 2015 | 10:30 am EDT Update
Given what Ray had been through, just making it to summer league was a remarkable feat — something no other Philippine-born player has done.1 But “first Filipino to play in NBA summer league” is a backhanded compliment of a career achievement, and Ray, driven by the memory of his father and the support of millions of Filipinos, said he’s aiming even higher: “It’s something that I really, really want — to make it to the NBA. It started off as just me and my dad with a dream. Now it’s the whole country behind me.”
“Every day he’s getting better,” Altamirano said. “He’s more relaxed, he’s more assertive. I think, down the line, you can see that he can play in the NBA.” And for now, that remains Ray’s plan. He kept his name out of this year’s PBA draft, which means he’ll hope for an invite to an NBA training camp, and if he can’t make a team outright, then he’ll look to gain further seasoning in the D-League or in Europe. Because he showed the ability to compete with world-class talent at the high school level, there’s reason to hope that Ray’s game might blossom as he acclimates to elite professional basketball.
It was an impossible decision. When Parks Sr. had moved back to Memphis in 2005 and eventually had Ray join him, it was with his son’s basketball future in mind. “The dream was always for Ray Ray to play in the U.S. NCAA and eventually the NBA,” said Ronnie Magsanoc, Parks Sr.’s friend and former PBA teammate. Relocating to Manila would limit Ray’s exposure to other athletes with NBA-caliber size and athleticism, and perhaps make it impossible for Ray to return to elite U.S. basketball. At the same time, Parks Sr. had a family to support, and the opportunity in the Philippines would allow him to do that. Not to mention that forging close ties with the Sy family could benefit his family for decades to come.
It was the beginning of a 12-year career in the Philippines for Parks Sr., who transferred to Shell Rimula-X (owned by the gas company) and became the team’s regular import, teaming with locals Ronnie Magsanoc and Benjie Paras to form the PBA’s “Awesome Threesome.” He won the league’s Best Import award a record seven times, and he won all seven in a row. He posted the gargantuan numbers that were expected of PBA imports in that era: Averages of 43 points and 16 rebounds during his Best Import streak and a career-high scoring average of 52.6 points per game in 1989. He set the bar for himself so high that in 1992, the PBA yearbook lamented that Parks Sr. “averaged a mere 39.9 points per game.”
The Utah Jazz today announced that Jordan Brady has been named an assistant coach on Idaho Stampede Head Coach Dean Cooper’s staff. Brady replaces Andrae Patterson, who joined the Jazz front office staff as player personnel/player programs coordinator earlier this offseason. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not announced. “Jordan has a bright future ahead of him,” said Stampede coach Dean Cooper. “He brings a lot of D-League experience from being both a coach and a player. He’s a talented young coach who will be a valuable part of our player development.”
How can the potential lockout be avoided in 2017? “Sitting down at a table already now with the NBA to understand what worries the owners and what worries the players. In the past very few attempts to speak in advance of the problems that led to the lockouts have been made. Whether Both commissioner Silver and myself want to do everything possible to prevent the NBA to stop: the only way is to negotiate. We have already started, we will meet again in early September with the hope to announce within the end of the season that the union and the league have solved their problems. ”