Coast to Coast: 8/29/08
Posted by Dan on August 29, 2008
Let’s push the ball up the court as we go from coast to coast with the stories from around the league.
- The Grizzlies made the big move of the day as they have signed Iranian center Hamed Haddadi as the AP reports. This was a move the Grizzlies wanted to make to improve the rebounding and defense on their front line. Does this mean that the Zach Randolph to Memphis talk will die down? Probably not since they still don’t have a true low post scorer but this was still a nice signing for Memphis. Haddadi averaged 16 points and 11 rebounds at the Olympics in Beijing. Terms of the deal have not been released.
- The Canadian Press is reporting that the New Orleans Hornets have signed free agent and former Sun Sean Marks. Marks is a nine year veteran who is the first person born in New Zealand to play in the NBA. This adds some needed depth to their frontline.
- The Oklahoma City franchise has not announced officially its nickname being the Thunder but it looks like that will happen soon. The Oklahoman reports that there was a slip-up in the season ticket plans printout for the Orlando Magic. For the December 5th game it says, “Magic vs. Thunder.” You can see the slip here. Nothing is official though as the announcement is not until September 3rd.
- The Orange County Register is reporting that Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has seen Andrew Bynum working out and likes what he is seeing. He also expects Bynum to be healthy and ready to go for training camp which starts at the end of September. I don’t expect Bynum to be great in his first year back from a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery. But the Lakers don’t need him to be great. They just need a solid 12 points and 10 boards on average from him and they’ll be in great shape. How about the starting five of Fisher, Kobe, Odom, Gasol, and Bynum? That’s a lot of length and athletic ability that will be tough to matchup with.
- Also Andrew Bynum’s trainer has given some insight at AndrewBynum.com into the tough workout schedule Bynum has been going through lately to prepare for his comeback season: “It all begins on the track at about 7:30-8:00 a.m. each morning for a serious hour and a half workout. We must begin early because after all,……. this is “Hotlanta” and after 9:30 a.m. one could practically melt! Immediately following extensive work on the track we move on to resistance (weight) training in the weight room for about a one-hour session. Basketball is the last activity for the morning/afternoon session and varies from one to three hours. Later that evening he is again put to the test for one more conditioning activity which usually lasts for about an hour and a half. That only leaves time for healthy eating and much needed sleep. This guy is a serious worker; you almost can’t give him enough.”
- The Seattle Post Intelligencer is reporting that even though the lawsuit for the city of Seattle against Clay Bennett and Co. cost the city $2.9 million, the city still came out of it ahead financially. However, they still came out in the red where it really matters: -1 in the number of NBA franchises.
- The Houston Chronicle is reporting that Rockets forward Chuck Hayes had surgery to repair his broken nose and will be out four to six weeks. But there is a good chance he will be ready to go for the start of training camp.
- The Miami Herlad has reported that Pat Riley has said that he plans on keep the core players of the current Miami Heat team intact. So do not expect any major trades or shakeups prior to the start of the season. However, you should expect some sort of move to help them with their weakness at center as Riley said, “Now, we’re just trying to fortify with pieces. We still need help in the post.” Jamaal Magloire and DJ Mbenga won’t exactly be huge helps.
- The Miami Herald is also reporting that Thursday August 28th was declared as Wade Day by the City of Miami in honor of his gold medal winning accomplishment. The Heat also unveiled a banner in his honor at AmericanAirlines Arena. Some really cool stuff here. He sure deserves it.
- I absolutely love the game of Rudy Fernandez from Spain who will be joining the Portland TrailBlazers this year. Apparently I’m not the only one as the Oregonian has some thoughts from his new coach Nate McMillan: “I was so impressed with him that it was to the point where after the second time I saw him, I didn’t sleep that night because I was moving my rotations around. I swear I did not sleep. I could not sleep thinking about him. Because I’m saying, ‘We can put him here, do this with him, do that with him and Brandon (Roy), and do this… So he’s playing for us. Oh yeah. I see that right now.”