Welcome To the NBA News here we will Find dailly LATEST HEADLINES - NBA NEWS !!
Welcome To the NBA News here we will Find dailly LATEST HEADLINES - NBA NEWS !!
Tracy McGrady has proved to be a valuable addition off the Hawks' bench this season.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images
Superstar-turned-reserve McGrady still getting it done
Posted Jan 4 2012 7:57AM
If Tracy McGrady is firing step-back jumpers and slicing inside for finger-rolls, then it must be 2004, right? Thought so, too.
Except he's almost eight years removed from his peak and now coming off the bench for his sixth different team. And while you may have wondered where he's been, he's wondering where you've been.
"People sometimes forget what you've done in this league," McGrady said with a laugh. "I haven't gone anywhere. And I'm only 32. People forget that, too. I'm younger than Kobe, younger than Ray Allen, younger than a lot of guys. I just haven't been healthy. I haven't felt like this in a while."
He laughs again, acknowledging his quickness isn't the same, and that he's been in the NBA almost half his life.
"Look, I know I've been around, but I can still play. I can help this team. I can make teammates better, I can make the team better."
<p>Your browser does not support iframes.</p>
The Hawks are sold. They signed T-Mac to a one-year deal, a bargain as it turns out, and asked him to supply some nostalgia whenever possible. Rick Sund, the GM, chose McGrady over giving an extension to Jamal Crawford, the Sixth Man of the Year winner in 2009.
It was the cheaper option for a team unwilling to flirt with luxury tax issues, but was it the better one? The answer, obviously, won't arrive until the postseason (assuming the Hawks make it) when we see if McGrady's health and production holds up.
He's a fixture in the Hawks' rotation right now. Actually, McGrady is on the floor in the fourth quarter, and he's not exactly there to set picks or be a decoy, either. Here in his 16th season, when surgeries figured to take their toll by now, McGrady is producing, averaging 10.0 ppg in 21.3 mpg and shooting 51.2 percent. He snuffed Miami a few nights ago with a 13-point fourth quarter, his biggest in almost four years.
So far, he's the best offseason pickup from a value standpoint, considering he signed for the veteran's minimum. Rip Hamilton is giving the Bulls a reliable mid-range shooter and 12.0 ppg after being waived by the Pistons. And Kurt Thomas, who was around in Bill Clinton's first term, is a hired muscle in Portland, where the Blazers also have a 37-year-old Marcus Camby yanking down almost 10 rebounds a night.
But McGrady is different in that he was a seven-time All-Star and two-time scoring champ who fell off the A-list suddenly. Only once in the last five seasons did he play at least 70 games (2006-07). Back pain, shoulder surgery and a repaired left knee all did him in by the time he turned 30.
Nobody seemed to be in a rush to sign him for most of the last three years. And yet he scored 26 points against the Thunder as a member of the Knicks, and 22 with the Pistons last year. Those were the highs. He also had lapses and was squeezed out by the Knicks, looking to clear cap space, and the Pistons, looking to rebuild with youth.
T-Mac was also viewed skeptically by general managers who wondered if he could accept a lesser role. That's hard for ex-superstars to do, Allen Iverson being a perfect example. Egos are always the last to disappear, well after the skills. Iverson carried himself like it was 1997 in his short time with Memphis a few years ago and the Grizzlies had no choice but to cut him loose before he disrupted a young locker room.
<p>Your browser does not support iframes.</p>
With the Hawks, McGrady appears comfortable with the dynamics of the team. He's surrounded by decent talent and depth. Playing time will be even more precious, for example, when Kirk Hinrich returns from injury. But, two weeks into the season, everyone's happy.
"I like all of the guys," McGrady said. "I've competed against Joe (Johnson) over the years. I respect his game. Same for the others. It's good to be their teammate. I'm just here to help out."
While players were anxious to get the lockout over with and watch the ball go up, McGrady was an exception.
"Because the offseason was so long, it gave me a chance to get my body healthy," he said. "I feel great now, man. My legs have that lift again. There's no comparison to how I feel now as opposed to before. I know I can bring a lot to the table regardless of where people think I am in my career."
Despite an otherwise solid career, McGrady has never led his team beyond the first round of the playoffs. And situations just never worked out, first in Toronto when he left Vince Carter. In Orlando, where Grant Hill was always on crutches, McGrady was often left to go solo. Then in Houston, McGrady and Yao Ming took turns limping in and out of the lineup. By the time Yao was physically finished, McGrady's prime was up.
There are no big expectations anymore, just a significant role to fill on what should be a playoff team. This isn't 2004 but McGrady is comfortable in his 2012 skin.
Report: Warriors close to signing Nate Robinson
Posted Jan 3 2012 6:57PM - Updated Jan 3 2012 8:35PM
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Two people with knowledge of the negotiations say the Golden State Warriors are close to signing guard Nate Robinson, who was released by the Oklahoma City Thunder last month.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the deal was yet to be finalized or formally announced by Golden State. The Bay Area News Group first reported the pending signing of Robinson, who would join a small backcourt also featuring Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry. Fellow former University of Washington star Isaiah Thomas of the Sacramento Kings first tweeted the news.
Robinson, the three-time NBA Slam Dunk champion, will provide depth at the guard spot as Curry has already sprained his troublesome, surgically repaired right ankle twice this season after going through the same thing several times last year. At 5-foot-9, Robinson makes Curry and Ellis - each 6-foot-3 - look big.
The Warriors are 2-3 under first-year coach Mark Jackson heading into Wednesday's game at San Antonio.
Thunder general manager Sam Presti announced the 27-year-old Robinson's release Dec. 24. Robinson didn't attend Oklahoma City's training camp after the lockout lifted, with Presti saying then that it was "unlikely he will have an opportunity to contribute on a nightly basis."
A midseason acquisition last season from the Celtics, Robinson appeared in only four games with three playoff appearances during his short tenure with the Thunder. He averaged 3.3 points and 1.5 assists in 7.5 minutes per game.
Robinson, a seventh-year pro, was acquired from Boston as part of the deal that brought center Kendrick Perkins to the Thunder at the trade deadline last season.
During the offseason, Robinson was arrested for urinating in public outside a bookstore in a New York City suburb.
Thunder's Sefolosha out sick against Trail Blazers
Posted Jan 3 2012 7:31PM
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Starting guard Thabo Sefolosha will miss the Oklahoma City Thunder's game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night because of flulike symptoms.
Coach Scott Brooks said before the game that James Harden would take Sefolosha's place in the starting lineup.
Reserve Daequan Cook, who missed Monday night's game at Dallas with flulike symptoms, was expected to play against Portland.
Sefolosha also missed the second half of the Dallas game because he was feeling ill. Brooks said no other Thunder players were sick.
Sefolosha, who is considered Oklahoma City's defensive specialist, is averaging 5.3 points in six starts this season.
Bulls' Hamilton out against Hawks with sore groin
Posted Jan 3 2012 8:15PM
CHICAGO (AP) -- Richard Hamilton was held out of the Chicago Bulls' starting lineup Tuesday night against the Atlanta Hawks because of a sore left groin.
Hamilton also missed Chicago's 104-64 win over Memphis on Sunday with the injury. Before the game, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters Hamilton would be a game-time decision but if he was available to play, he'd be in the starting lineup.
Ronnie Brewer started for the second straight game in Hamilton's absence. He had 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists in 35 minutes against the Grizzlies.
Hamilton was signed as a free agent during the preseason to fill Chicago's void at shooting guard. He is averaging 12 points on 43 percent shooting in four games so far this season.
Chicago guard C.J. Watson also missed the game due to a strained left elbow.
Bogut leaves Bucks for personal reasons
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Andrew Bogut left the Milwaukee Bucks for undisclosed personal reasons and missed Tuesday night's game against the Utah Jazz.
His last entry on his personal Twitter feed -- "On to the next one. No road win is easy.... Flying to Utah shortly" -- was posted shortly after the Bucks lost to Denver, 91-86 Monday night. However, he was not with the team for shootaround earlier Tuesday.
Bogut, who is averaging 14.3 points and 10.0 rebounds after elbow surgery ended last season, was replaced in the starting lineup by Drew Gooden.
Mike Dunleavy, who missed the loss to the Nuggets with flu-like symptoms, was also not with the team due to groin pain. Carlos Delfino took Dunleavy's starting spot.
Reserve guard Beno Udrih has been dealing with a left shoulder sprain and also did not dress for the game against the Jazz.
Blazers send Babbitt, Johnson to D-League
Posted Jan 4 2012 1:47PM
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The Portland Trail Blazers have assigned forward Luke Babbitt and guard Armon Johnson to the Idaho Stampede of the NBA's Developmental League.
Johnson has been inactive so far this season for the Blazers, while Babbitt played two minutes against Sacramento in the team's second game.
Both are second-year players who also played for the Stampede last season. Babbitt averaged 19 points and 7.6 rebounds in 13 games with Idaho, while Johnson played in nine games, averaging 18.2 points and 4.2 rebounds.
76ers ship Speights to Grizzlies in three-team trade
Posted Jan 4 2012 1:09PM - Updated Jan 4 2012 2:42PM
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Philadelphia, Memphis and New Orleans have agreed on a multi-player trade.
The 76ers are sending Marreese Speights to Memphis, the Grizzlies will move Xavier Henry to New Orleans and the Grizzlies and Hornets each will send a second-round draft pick to Philadelphia.
The 6-foot-6 Henry, in his second NBA season out of Kansas, has averaged 4.3 points and 1.0 rebound in 38 games with Memphis.
"We are delighted to welcome Xavier to our team and the New Orleans community," Hornets general manager Dell Demps said in a release Wednesday. "We hope Xavier will develop into a good basketball player that will contribute to the success of the New Orleans Hornets this season and into the future."
Henry became the first player in Kansas history to leave for the NBA after his freshman season.
The 6-10 Speights is in his fourth NBA season out of Florida and has averaged 7.2 points and 3.7 rebounds.
Cavs center Samuels lacks passport, will miss Raptors game
Posted Jan 4 2012 2:34PM
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Cavaliers backup center Samardo Samuels will not play in Toronto because he doesn't have a passport.
The team said Samuels did not travel with the club and won't be in uniform Wednesday night as Cleveland visits the Raptors to open a seven-game road trip. The Cavs said Samuels, who is averaging 7.3 points and 2.5 rebounds in 16 minutes, will rejoin them in Minnesota Thursday.
Samuels recently said on his Twitter account that he had lost his passport. He is completing the proper paperwork to get a new one.
Also, the Cavs have assigned forward Christian Eyenga to Canton of the NBA Development League. Eyenga has played just one minute this season. He started 18 games for Cleveland last season.
Nets set to move team's corporate offices to Brooklyn
Posted Jan 4 2012 4:03PM
NEW YORK (AP) -- The Nets have signed a lease for office space in Brooklyn, another step in their planned move from New Jersey.
The team says Wednesday that 150 business side employees will occupy the 11th floor of the 19-story building at 15 MetroTech Center and that the relocation process from East Rutherford, N.J. is expected to begin next month.
The basketball operations staff will remain in New Jersey for now.
The Nets are set to begin play at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, starting with the 2012-13 season. The arena and office building headquarters both were developed by Forest City Ratner Companies and are one subway stop away on several lines.