February 28, 2013

By AARON BEARD Associated Press

 

There are some familiar NBA names lighting up college basketball courts this season.

Curry, Hardaway, Hawkins, Howard, Mason and Robinson.

Below are the sons of six former NBA players who are having strong seasons this year. And there are often shades of their fathers' games in their play, whether it's their knack for scoring in bunches, knocking down 3-pointers, playing with a tough-nosed style or wearing the same jersey number.

Seth Curry, Duke - This family is known for the ability to shoot the 3, starting with Dell Curry during 16 NBA seasons starting during the late 1980s. Next came son Stephen's rise from Davidson to the Golden State Warriors. Now there's Stephen's younger brother Seth, a 6-foot-2 senior for the Blue Devils. He has been the top outside threat to complement Mason Plumlee inside. Curry has rarely practiced this year due to persistent pain in his right shin, but he's averaging about 17 points and shooting nearly 44 percent from 3-point range entering the week. Maryland coach Mark Turgeon put it simply after Curry scored 25 against his Terrapins earlier this month: ''Seth Curry is a winner and he makes big shots.''

 

Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan - The 6-6 junior guard and son of the former NBA all-star has been part of the Wolverines' 1-2 punch playing alongside sophomore guard Trey Burke. Hardaway is second on the team in scoring (15 points) and shooting about 40 percent from 3-point range. He's also been one of Michigan's top defenders and scored his 1,000th career point this season. He's reached double figures in 20 of 26 games this year, highlighted by a 23-point performance with six 3-pointers against Ohio State.

 

 

 

Corey Hawkins, UC Davis - The son of former NBA guard Hersey Hawkins entered the week averaging 20.5 points and 5.7 rebounds. Hawkins was also shooting about 47 percent from the field and 40 percent from behind the arc. The 6-3 sophomore is an Arizona State transfer and had a school-record 40 points at Hawaii in January to follow in his high-scoring father's footsteps at Bradley, where Hersey Hawkins is the school's all-time leading scorer and ranks seventh in Division I history with 3,008 career points. In Hersey's senior year, he averaged 36.3 points and scored 63 in a game. ''One thing he always told me is be able to get into the lane and finish around the bigs,'' Corey Hawkins said. ''... Not being that tall, you have to find ways to finish in the paint. He helped me a lot with that.''

 

 

 

 

 

 

Juwan Howard Jr., Detroit - The 6-6 sophomore is the son of the former Michigan ''Fab Five'' member who played in the NBA nearly two decades. Juwan Jr. transferred from Western Michigan and sat out the Titans' NCAA tournament appearance last year, but he's started nearly every game and averaged about 9 points and 3.6 rebounds this season heading into Tuesday's game against Loyola of Chicago. He's also shooting 39 percent from 3-point range and 82 percent from the foul line in a supporting role behind high-scoring guard Ray McCallum Jr. as Detroit tries to return to the NCAAs.

 

 

 

 

Antoine Mason, Niagara - The son of former NBA all-star Anthony Mason has been the top threat for the Purple Eagles, averaging a team-high 18.9 points while playing 36 minutes per game entering the week. The 6-3 redshirt sophomore recently returned from a four-game absence due to an ankle injury, but has scored in double figures in 31 straight games. Mason wears the same number (14) and carries the same nickname (''Mase'') as his father. Coach Joe Mihalich said Mason has a ''fearlessness'' and is ''an incredible competitor.'' Sound familiar? ''I was sensitive to the pressures that a kid would feel when your dad's an NBA player,'' Mihalich said. ''I said to his dad, 'Listen, I'm trying hard not to compare him to you. I don't want him to feel that pressure.' His dad was cool. He was like, 'Nah, go ahead, you can do that.' And it was a good thing to do because it does help young Mase respond. It motivates him.''

 

 

 

Glenn Robinson III, Michigan - Hardaway isn't the only Wolverine on the list. This 6-6 freshman forward is the son of the Purdue All-American and former NBA all-star known as ''Big Dog.'' Robinson is fourth on the team, averaging about 11 points on 57 percent shooting to go along with 5.5 rebounds as an every-game starter. Robinson matched his season-high with 21 points on 6-for-6 shooting while pulling down 10 rebounds in a win against Penn State on Feb. 17. He had managed just six points in the previous two games, but said his confidence never wavered. ''A lot of people know I like to cut to the basket,'' Robinson said. ''They kind of sag off me and those open shots weren't there, but I've got to keep adjusting to that and keep working on it at practice.''

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February 28, 2013

By BRIAN MAHONEY Associated Press

 

The New York Knicks said Wednesday new X-rays of Rasheed Wallace's left foot showed a broken bone, and he is expected to miss another eight weeks, possibly ending his comeback season.

The forward will have surgery this week, damaging news for a team that has missed his play off the bench.

''It's somewhat a blow because I mean he's gone through so much work to get back out on the floor and now this happens. So the only thing we can do now is think positive in terms of how the surgery is going to turn out and he's got to rehab back,'' Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. ''That's all you can do at this point.''

The 38-year-old Wallace came out of a two-year retirement to join the Knicks this season and averaged 7.2 points while appearing in 20 of the first 22 games, helping the Knicks get off to a 17-5 start.

He hasn't played since, and the Knicks said his injury had progressed to a fractured bone at the outside of his left foot, otherwise known as a Jones fracture.

''When we were able to actually get him on the floor, he was pretty good for our ballclub. But hey, that's in the past. We've got to move forward,'' Woodson said. ''It's a blow I'm sure for him mentally because he wanted to play and so it's a setback. He's just got to have the surgery and we go from there.''

Perhaps aware Wallace might not be able to return, the Knicks signed forward Kenyon Martin to a 10-day contract last week. Woodson said there was a chance the 35-year-old Martin would make his debut Wednesday against Golden State.

He also said the Knicks didn't plan to waive Wallace to create a roster spot and hoped he would be ready to play in the postseason.

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February 21, 2013

When ranking the sports team owners in American professional sports, it is not much of a contest, because Jerry Buss, who recently passed away, has every other owner beat by a mile, including New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who passed away in 2010.

Many people say that the Yankees are the premiere team in American sports, mostly because their history of greatness dates back to the early 1900s, but in the modern era it is not even close.  The Lakers, mostly because of the vision of Buss, has been the greatest franchise in any sport.

Since Buss purchased the Lakers in 1979, the Lakers have made it to the NBA Finals 16 times, which is nearly half of the years that Buss owned the team.  They won the title 10 times, more than any other American professional sports team over that time period.  Under Steinbrenner, who owned the Yankees from 1973 until his passing, the ball club won seven World Series titles in 11 appearances. 

Buss took a team that was one of the better teams in the NBA and turned them into the greatest pro team in the nation.  When he took over the Lakers were not even the best team in town.  Los Angeles was a Dodgers town.  USC football and UCLA basketball were a lot more popular, as the Lakers had lost seven times in the NBA Finals from the time that they moved to Los Angeles from Minneapolis in 1960 until Buss bought the team.  All of those losses came against the Celtics, and the Lakers had only won the NBA title once over that time period, in 1972. 

When Buss took over the Celtics had 13 NBA titles compared to the Lakers six (five of those won in Minneapolis), and it did not seem like any team would ever come close to catching them.  But since Buss took over the Lakers have defeated the Celtics three times in the NBA Finals, won 10 overall, and now they are only behind the Celtics by one championship (17-16).

Former Laker Tommy Hawkins remembers the Dodgers receiving a parade in Downtown when they moved to Los Angeles in 1958, but when the Lakers showed up two years later, they came in on a bus through San Bernadino and nobody knew who they were. 

Before Buss bought the team the Lakers were always lost in the shuffle of the Los Angeles sporting scene.  But he instantly changed that.

Buss' first move was to create Showtime, and that was not just on the court.  He understood that in Los Angeles, just watching a game would not be enough to captivate people who are in the "Entertainment Capitol of the World."  Buss created an environment that the Hollywood stars wanted to be at.  Laker games were the place to be, not just for celebrities, but for the masses.

Buss created a show, but at the same time, that was not going to hold people's attention for long.  Laker great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar pointed out that dancing girls were not going to win games.  The show was not just during timeouts, or before and after the game.  The main attraction was the players, and Buss stopped at nothing to get the best. 

One thing that separated Buss from other owners who will stop at nothing to win was that Buss knew his role, and he let others do their jobs.  Bill Sharman and Jerry West built the rosters that became Showtime.  They surrounded Magic Johnson and Abdul-Jabbar with other star players.  They took the risk on drafting James Worthy over Dominique Wilkins.  They took the risk to trade Norm Nixon in order to draft Byron Scott.  And to trade Vlade Divac for Kobe Bryant, who was right out of high school.  That was a major risk because Shaquille O'Neal had not signed with the team at that point, and there was no telling if he would come to Los Angeles. 

Buss also allowed O'Neal to be traded, and he convinced Bryant that he should be a Laker forever, which resulted into two more championships. 

Buss' efforts and his visions have given Los Angeles fans the best team in the modern era of sports.  The only thing that it looks like Buss will miss out on is when the Lakers finally catch, and pass, the Celtics in total titles.

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February 28, 2013

Associated Press

 

Former WNBA play­er and Olympic gold medalist Chami­que Holdsclaw is being indicted in a November 2012 shooting in Atlanta, prosecutors said Wednesday.

A six-count indictment charges Holds­claw, 35, with aggravated assault, criminal damage and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, Fulton Coun­ty District Attorney’s spokeswoman Yvette Jones said Wednesday.

Holdsclaw was arrested after an argument with Tulsa Shock player Jennifer Lacy, 29, who told police she was Holdsclaw’s ex-girlfriend. The two were also Atlanta Dream teammates in 2009. Holdsclaw broke the windows to Lacy’s car and shot at it Nov. 13, 2012, police said. No one was injured.

After a late-Nov­em­ber court appear­ance, one of Holds­claw’s attorneys said he talked with Lacy and they were trying to resolve the case.

“They are still friends and we expect the alleged victim to support a proper resolution of this,” said Edward Garland, an attorney representing Holdsclaw. “In no way did she use the gun to threaten or assault the alleged victim, or do so with a baseball bat.”

He acknowledged that Holdsclaw caused damage to Lacy’s car, but said his client never intended to hurt her.

“Sometimes charges get made that exceed the scope of the actual events,” Garland said, adding that he and his client plan to resolve the case without it going to trial.

Holdsclaw is out on $100,000 bond and a court date has not been scheduled.

Holdsclaw led the University of Tennessee to three consecutive national championships from 1996-98 before beginning a pro career that included six WNBA All-Star selections.

She also played on the U.S. Olym­pic team that won the gold medal in the 2000 Games. She had 3,025 career points at Tennessee and remains the Southeastern Conference’s career scoring leader.

In September, Holdsclaw returned to her alma mater to discuss her fight with clinical depression, which included a suicide attempt during her pro career.

Holdsclaw recounted how she attempted suicide in 2006 as a member of the Los Angeles Sparks by overdosing on the medication she was taking for clinical depression. She also wouldn't leave her Washington home for a few days in 2004, two years after the death of the grandmother who raised her.

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February 21, 2013

By ANDREW SELIGMAN  Associated Press

 

Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield stood toe to toe again, only this time there were hugs and smiles — and no bites to the ear.

The ill will that marked the former champions’ rivalry was nowhere in sight. Instead, they were like old friends meeting in a supermarket, which is exactly what they did on Saturday February 16.

They were at a Jewel-Osco on Chicago’s South Side, where Holyfield was signing autographs and promoting his barbecue sauce. Tyson, in town performing his one-man show, made a cameo.

“I just wanted to see Evander, man,” Tyson said. “I love Evander. I’m forever linked with him for the rest of my life.”

Hard to believe those words came from the man who bit off a piece of Holyfield’s ear during a fight, but the former “Baddest Man On The Planet” is showing a different side.

He’s baring his soul on stage, documenting his rise from Brooklyn's streets to the heavyweight championship and subsequent fall from grace. It’s all there, from his drug use to his relationships to ex-wife Robin Givens, new wife Kiki, promoter Don King, trainer Cus D’Amato and, of course, a rape conviction that left him behind bars for three years in the 1990s.

He’s taking it to 36 cities after a run on Broadway. Saturday night was the second of two scheduled performances in Chicago. And before he hit the stage, he hit the supermarket.

He wrapped Holyfield in a big hug and was all smiles as they chatted and posed for pictures, the fans going wild the whole time.

“The show is good,” said Holyfield, who saw it in Las Vegas. “The show is showing his way of coming back, being able to come to an agreement, come to an acknowledgment of what he’d done good and what he’d done wrong and to get over it. When people don’t get past their problems, they never come to an understanding.”

What did Holyfield think of the parts that involved him?

“I think he was letting people know that he was wrong and what happened, happened,” he said. “He appreciates that I forgave him. He’s forgiven himself. That’s how you make adjustments in life.”

The 50-year-old Holyfield would still like one more title fight against one of the Klitschko brothers, either Wladimir or Vitali. But unless one of them has a change of heart and agrees to it, his career is over.

“Now that it's confirmed that the Klitschkos really don’t want to do it, that’s it,” Holyfield said. “I’m not trying to go back and fight someone 24, 25. But the Klitschkos being 37, 38, that's my age.”

He’s not clinging to that possibility, nor is he holding any hard feelings for Tyson. They reconciled on Oprah Winfrey's show in October 2009, and for that, Tyson is grateful.

In his mind, it even turned that infamous bite into something positive “because love and forgiveness is involved.”

“We’re both at a stage in our lives where we can work together and make really a good thing happen,” Tyson said. “He’s a beautiful person. I’ve known Evander since I was 15.”

Now Tyson is putting it out there on stage, warts and all. He has made it clear this is not an apology tour, that it’s simply his story.

He says he spends two hours a day rehearsing the script that his wife wrote, and the show is directed by Spike Lee. More are scheduled for cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston and Washington, and the tour could be extended if it goes well.

When he’s not rehearsing, he’s working for his charitable organization, Mike Tyson Cares. The organization helps underprivileged and homeless children receive medical treatment, find shelter, help with school expenses and assist with job placement.

But he still can’t quite escape the drama.

In December, Tyson told a TV show he was “high on cocaine” during filming of the movie “The Hangover.” In November, a Polish court ordered him to pay $48,000 to the organizer of a boxing gala after Tyson did not show up.

In October he was banned from travelling to New Zealand because of his rape conviction. That country’s immigration authorities initially granted him a visa so he could give talks about overcoming adversity in his life, but a charity withdrew its support and officials reversed their decision.

“I just want to live my life this way,” Tyson said. “It’s more advantageous to me and my children and the people that I care about to live my life this way.”

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