July 04, 2013

ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

The All-Star point guard agreed to a new deal on the first day free agency opened, agent Leon Rose confirmed.

Paul posted a message on his Twitter account Monday morning, saying “I’M IN!!!” (hash) CLIPPERNATION

Paul led the Clippers to their first Pacific Division title last season and his decision to stay is the second big victory for the longtime losers in this offseason, following the signing of Doc Rivers as their new coach.

Paul can earn about $108 million over five years with the Clippers. The deal can't be signed until July 10, after next season's salary cap is set.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist has helped turn around the Clippers franchise in two seasons since coming in a trade from the New Orleans Hornets. They made the playoffs in both seasons, advancing to the second round in 2012, and went 56-26 this season, the best record in their history.

Paul averaged 16.9 points, 9.7 assists and an NBA-best 2.4 steals per game. He was the Western Conference player of the month in December, when the Clippers went 16-0.

Paul spent his first six seasons with the Hornets before he was dealt to the Clippers, shortly after the NBA, then serving as owners of the Hornets, stopped a trade that would have sent him instead to the Lakers.

That decision has paid off big for the Clippers, long the second-class citizens in Los Angeles but the team that played a much more exciting style and had much better results than the Lakers last season.

They fired Vinny Del Negro even after their 2012-13 success but landed one of the NBA’s marquee coaches in Rivers, who led the Boston Celtics to the 2008 NBA championship.

Now they are holding onto perhaps the league’s best point guard.

Paul missed 12 games with a bruised right kneecap and played a career-low 33.4 minutes per game, and still was second in the league in assists and first in assist-to-turnover ratio. He was MVP of the All-Star game and finished fourth in voting for the regular-season award.

The Wake Forest product is also one of the league’s most popular players, serving as an executive on the NBA players’ association.

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

July 04, 2013

By KENNETH MILLER

Assistant Managing Editor

 

As the frenzied free agent signing period continued though the week, the Clippers in quest of their first NBA championships made a major trade on the heels of obtaining coach Doc Rivers from Boston and resigning star point guard Chris Paul.

According to multiple reports, the Clippers traded highly sought-after Eric Bledsoe and veteran forward Caron Butler to Phoenix in exchange for shooting guard J. J. Redick and sharpshooting forward Jared Dudley.

The three team deal also involved the Milwaukee Bucks which relinquished Redick in the package. The Bucks will get two second round draft picks, one each from the Clippers and Suns.

Redick also receives a four-year $27 million contract from the Clips in a sign and trade from the Bucks.

The Suns are moving swiftly in reshaping their roster, acquiring a center in Alex Len, the fifth overall pick in the NBA draft, and a talented, young point guard in Bledsoe.

Phoenix can't negotiate a contract extension with Bledsoe until after the deal is finalized on July 10.

New Clippers executive VP and coach Doc Rivers had dinner with Redick early last week and further solidified Redick's belief that joining the Clippers and competing for a championship was his desire, sources said.

The Bucks traded for Redick at the February deadline and ultimately decided against re-signing him for the nearly $8 million per season the Clippers did.

The Bucks get a trade exception back in the deal, but it has to be renounced because they're under the salary cap.

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

June 27, 2013

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Even Doc Rivers got weary of the two-week saga of his move to the Los Angeles Clippers. He thought the unusual deal was dead several times, and he insists he really didn’t mind the prospect of returning to the Boston Celtics.

“I felt like I was the only guy in all this that was in a win-win,” Rivers said.

The Clippers think they’ve got plenty of winning in store after landing one of the NBA’s most respected veteran coaches.

The Clippers formally introduced Rivers at their training complex Wednesday after dealing a first-round pick to the Celtics. Rivers was simply grateful to end his self-described “strange ordeal” ever since the Celtics floated the possibility of moving the NBA’s highest-paid coach to a talented team determined to replace Vinny Del Negro with a topflight leader.

“The reason I wanted this when it was made available was because of what we have,” said Rivers, who also will be the Clippers’ senior vice president of basketball operations. “I clearly think this is an extremely talented basketball team. There were times last year they were the best team. I like the talent we have here.”

Rivers believes the Clippers have the ingredients to be a title contender, although unrestricted free agent Chris Paul is a major part of that recipe. Rivers’ arrival is widely expected to cinch a new deal for CP3 — and Rivers believes their partnership will lead to chances for championships.

“We’re going for it, let there be no mistake,” Clippers President Andy Roeser said. “We’re going for it. We want to win, and we think Doc will help us get there.”

Rivers largely sat out the negotiations about his fate over the last two weeks, staying at his offseason home in Orlando while Celtics President Danny Ainge and the Clippers' top brass hammered out details of the move. Rivers gave up on the deal multiple times, even discussing the Celtics’ roster for next season with Ainge on Sunday, convinced he would return for a 10th season in Boston.

Rivers turned off his phone and watched his youngest son, Spencer, in an AAU game. When he turned it back on, he found out he might be on the move after all — and a few hours later, the deal was done.

With all of his formal clothes in Boston, Rivers couldn’t even wear a suit when he headed out to the West Coast to accept his next coaching challenge.

“Things always find their path,” Rivers said. “This took a long and winding path, but it found a way. ... I didn’t intend it to be this way. I didn’t want it to be this way. Danny and I thought it was something we would explore, and it would be quick.”

But it’s finally over, and Rivers has started to consider what he’ll do with his new team, which won a franchise-record 56 games and its first Pacific Division title last season, only to lose to Memphis in the first round of the postseason. Rivers is eager to improve the Clippers’ defense while maximizing the potential of Blake Griffin and Paul, whose return is the franchise's top offseason priority.

Paul and Griffin didn’t attend the news conference, but backup big men Ronny Turiaf and Ryan Hollins showed up for a look at their new coach. Rivers said he had already spoken to most of his new players and most of the Celtics.

“Very excited about the future with Coach Rivers and his staff,” Griffin tweeted. “Can’t wait to get to work. Thanks for all the support clipnation!”

Rivers was understandably cagey about any conversations with Paul, who was widely thought to desire an established, veteran coach in Los Angeles. Roeser has been steadfastly confident the Clippers will hang on to CP3, and Rivers’ arrival only made him more optimistic.

“I think we’re just going to have to wait until he makes his decision and signs his contract, but all the indications are that he likes Doc and respects him,” Roeser said of Paul.

Rivers was greeted in Playa Vista by a huge Hollywood media contingent, baffling a few longtime Clippers employees used to toiling in the glitzy Lakers’ shadow. With each passing month, the Clippers are stealing the spotlight from the 16-time champions who share their hallway at Staples Center.

“I don’t understand what the fuss is,” Roeser said with a laugh. “It’s not even the first time we gave up a first-round pick for Doc.”

Roeser referred to the 1991 trade that brought the veteran point guard to the Clippers for one season in 1991-92. Rivers wore Los Angeles’ No. 25 jersey that year — the same number on the ceremonial jersey he held Wednesday to herald his return.

Rivers’ front-office title means he’ll have a say in the Clippers’ personnel moves, but Rivers clearly indicated he’s only one part of a decision-making team including Roeser and Gary Sacks, their vice president of basketball operations.

“I think titles don’t mean that much,” Roeser said. “What matters is we’re going to sit down together and find a way to make this team better.”

Roeser confirmed the Clippers won’t be making any player transactions with Boston in the near future, but said the Clippers “will be active in the free-agent market.” A reunion between Rivers and Kevin Garnett in Los Angeles remains unlikely after the NBA banned any potential trades including both men, but Rivers seems confident the Clippers already have enough talent to be even better.

“That’s the only reason I’m coaching, is to try to win titles,” Rivers said. “We’ve got to prove we can win a series first.”

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

June 27, 2013

Sentinel News Service

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Basketball players of all ages and skill levels are invited to register for the fifth annual Nike Basketball 3ON3  Tournament Presented by NBC4 Southern California, set to return to L.A. LIVE and the streets of downtown Los Angeles on Friday, August 9-Sunday, August 11, 2013.

For the 2nd consecutive year, the Josh Hutcherson Celebrity Basketball Game benefitting Straight But Not Narrow (SBNN) will kick off the Nike Basketball 3ON3 Tournament presented by NBC4 weekend. On Friday, August 9th, Hutcherson will be joined by many of his celebrity friends for a fun and exciting exhibition game in front of hundreds of fans.   Individual tickets and VIP packages are available for purchase now, including meet & greet opportunities with the Hunger Games actor. Tickets are available for purchase on Wednesday, June 19th at 10AM PT at nike3on3.com. All net proceeds to benefit SBNN. Straight But Not Narrow is an ally organization that prepares and trains young adults on how to become allies of their LGBTQ peers.

Registration forms for players of all skill levels and ages can be found at nike3on3.com. More than 1,500 teams registered for California’s largest 3 on 3 basketball tournament in 2012.  Fans are encouraged to sign up beginning today as brackets will fill up quickly.

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Nike Basketball 3ON3 Tournament, L.A. LIVE has teamed up with NBC4. As part of the partnership, NBC4 anchors and reporters will participate in interactive ‘Fan Fest,’ including the popular Nike Slam Dunk Contest, the NBC4 Skills Challenge and the Josh Hutcherson Celebrity Basketball Game benefitting ‘Straight But Not Narrow.’  The tournament will also feature approximately 100 outdoor basketball courts and over twenty interactive vendors and basketball-themed activities to entertain the thousands of athletes, guests and families participating and attending.

Complete team registration starts at $140 for youth and high school teams and $200 for elite teams. Adult entry fees start at $160. Entry fees for adult and high school teams will increase to $160 and $180 respectively after July 26. All ages and skill levels are invited to play. Each team must have a minimum of three players and a maximum of four players to participate. 

Registration for Special Olympic and Wheelchair divisions are free of charge.  All players that register for the Nike Basketball 3ON3 Tournament presented by NBC4 receive a participant t-shirt, ticket to a 2013 LA Sparks game (women’s & girl’s teams only), a free one-month pass to LA Fitness and a guaranteed minimum of three games in the tournament. The next 50 teams to register by June 21 will receive a free ticket to an upcoming Los Angeles Clippers game during the 2013-2014 season and 12 one-year memberships will be awarded to the Elite Tournament bracket winners.   Teams will compete for cash prizes, Nike shopping sprees and merchandise, hotel stays at the JW Marriott at L.A. LIVE, tickets to events at STAPLES Center, Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE and StubHub Center, L.A. LIVE restaurant gift cards, Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14 movie tickets, passes to The GRAMMY Museum, tickets to upcoming concerts at L.A. LIVE and much more.

The Nike 3ON3 Basketball Tournament presented by NBC4 has grown from 500 teams in its inaugural year to more than 1,500 teams, 4,500 players and 25,000 spectators, making it one of the premier 3 on 3 street basketball tournaments in the United States.  The 2012 tournament drew the most teams in the event’s history, nearly tripling in size from its first year. The Tournament has become a Southern California tradition that attracts the best teams from California and across the country. Around L.A. LIVE, STAPLES Center and along Chick Hearn Court, the Nike Basketball 3ON3 Tournament presented by NBC4 will host approximately 100 outdoor basketball courts and an interactive Fan Fest to accommodate the thousands of athletes, guests and families participating and attending this year’s event. 

“We have seen tremendous growth not only in teams, but also in the fans that have experienced the Nike Basketball 3ON3 Tournament presented by NBC4 over the last four years. Our 5th year will continue in that spirit and we look forward to welcoming back teams that have played in prior years, as well as new ones,” said Lee Zeidman, Senior Vice President & General Manager, L.A. LIVE & STAPLES Center.  “The greatest part about the event is that anyone can play no matter what your skill level may be.  It is a fantastic way to spend a summer weekend outside with your friends and family.”

“For decades, NBC4 has been a leader in providing up-to-the minute sports news, so to partner with the Nike Basketball 3ON3 Tournament a natural fit,” said Terri Hernandez Rosales, vice president of community affairs and communications, for NBC4. “The event is another way   sports enthusiast and underprivileged youth stay connected in the community.  

Opportunities and custom brackets for corporate wellness partners are available at a discounted rate and through the corporate donation program; several opportunities for organizations to support the local community by purchasing sponsored brackets will allow underprivileged Los Angeles youth teams to participate in the Nike Basketball 3ON3 Tournament presented by NBC4. The official host hotel for the tournament is the Radisson Los Angeles Midtown at USC, located less than two miles from L.A. LIVE.  Special room rates of $119 single or double occupancy with a special discount parking pass of $10 per day are available to all tournament attendees and participants.

Players of all ages, gender and skill levels are invited to participate in the Nike Basketball 3ON3 Tournament presented by NBC4.  Individual brackets will be divided into appropriate divisions based on a combination of skill, age, gender and height to achieve “level” competition.  Teams may consist of a maximum of four (4) players with a minimum of three (3) players required.

The tournament features five main divisions of play: Adult Elite, Adult, High School, Youth, Special Olympics and Wheelchair. The player’s next grade for the high school division must be 9th-12th) and player’s next grade for the youth division must be 3rd-8th.  Adult, high school and youth divisions feature two competition levels: recreational and competitive. The Nike Elite Division will consist of three categories of players: Women, Men's 6 Foot and under and Men’s Over 6 Foot. Brackets will be formed based upon these criteria and those delineated above.  Participants can register their teams online at nike3on3.com.

The Nike Basketball 3ON3 presented by NBC4 Fan Fest is free and open to the public.  The three-day experience will feature a variety of events at the Nike Center Court, including the highly anticipated Nike Slam Dunk Contest, over twenty interactive vendors and basketball-themed activities. Complete information about registration, eligibility, rules and bracketing can be found at the official Nike Basketball 3ON3 Tournament presented by NBC4 website, Nike3on3.com. For additional information and up to the minute details, follow the official Twitter account at twitter.com/nikebball3on3 and the official Facebook page at facebook.com/nikebasketball3on3.

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

June 27, 2013

Associate Press

 

At long last, Brian Shaw is getting his first chance to coach an NBA team.

The former guard for the Los Angeles Lakers and Phil Jackson pupil has agreed to succeed George Karl as coach of the Denver Nuggets, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Monday night because the deal hadn't been officially announced.

Still, it was the buzz of the basketball world.

“I think the Nuggets are going to benefit from his tenure,” Jackson tweeted.

“So great to see Brian Shaw rewarded with this long overdue opportunity,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel told The AP in a text. “Congrats to Brian and the Nuggets. Denver just got one of the best head coaches this league will see for years to come.”

The Denver Post first an­nounced the agreement with Shaw, the Indiana Pacers assistant who told the newspaper he’s been “prepared by the best of the best” for his first NBA head coaching job, adding “I feel like I’ve waited and paid my dues.”

Shaw is a longtime assistant who has interviewed about a dozen times for head coaching positions but kept coming up short until Monday.

He beat out Lionel Hollins, the former Memphis Grizzlies coach.

The Nuggets called a news conference for Tuesday afternoon, where team president Josh Kroenke and newly hired general manager Tim Connelly will introduce their new coach.

Shaw replaces Karl, who was ousted June 6 just weeks after winning the league's Coach of the Year award.

Shaw inherits a young team loaded with talent that won a franchise-record 57 games but lost Danilo Gallinari to a knee injury down the stretch and bowed out in the first round of the playoffs for the ninth time in 10 years.

Gallinari recently underwent surgery and is expected back in December.

The Nuggets have been a state of flux all summer after they were knocked off by the Golden State Warriors in six games in the first round of the playoffs.

First, Masai Ujiri, who engineered the win-win trade of Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks, left the Nuggets’ front office for the GM job in Toronto. Ujiri was the league's Executive of the Year.

Less than a week later, Kroenke fired Karl.

Ujiri’s right-hand man, Pete D’Allesandro, then took the Sacramento Kings’ GM job and took Denver executive Mike Bratz with him.

Also, the Nuggets’ top perimeter defender, Andre Iguodala, decided to opt out of the final year of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent, although he could return to Denver on a five-year deal while the most he could get elsewhere is a four-year contract.

Shaw, 47, owns five NBA championship rings as a player and assistant coach. A first-round draft pick by the Boston Celtics in 1988, Shaw played for eight teams in his 14 NBA seasons.

As Vogel’s top assistant, Shaw drew praise for his work with rising star Paul George last season. The Pacers forward was an All-Star and helped lead Indiana to the Eastern Conference finals, where they took the eventual champion Miami Heat to seven games.

Although he has deep roots with the triangle offense that Jackson featured with the Chicago Bulls and the Lakers, Shaw told the Denver Post he won’t use that system with the Nuggets, who thrived in a fast-paced, free-flowing system under Karl.

Shaw played at St. Mary’s and UC Santa Barbara before an NBA career that lasted from 1988 to 2003. He was a member of the Lakers’ three championship teams in the early 2000s and Jackson hired him as an assistant after he retired.

He won two more titles with L.A. as an assistant coach and when Jackson retired from the Lakers in 2011, Kobe Bryant voiced his support for Shaw becoming Jackson's successor, but he was passed over for that promotion.

AP Sports Writer Michael Marot contributed.

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

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