InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner says: Pat Ewing Jr. is a decent defender, but I haven’t seen that the rest of his game is on a pro level, yet. Unless he has other skills I don’t know about, he’ll have to fight hard to prove himself to the whole league, including the Knicks. And, here’s the news:
The New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that forward Patrick Ewing, Jr. has been acquired from Houston for the draft rights to center Frederic Weis.
“Patrick Ewing will have an opportunity here to compete for a spot on our roster,” Walsh said. “He is a solid defensive player and a very good athlete.”
Ewing, Jr., 6-8, 240-pounds, was originally drafted by Sacramento in the 2008 NBA Draft as the 43rd overall selection. Traded to the Rockets on Aug. 14 as part of a multi-player deal, the 24-year-old Boston native played his first two collegiate seasons at Indiana University before transferring to Georgetown. As a senior with the Hoyas during the 2007-08 season, Ewing averaged 6.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 34 games, winning the Big East Sixth Man of the Year award.
“Coming to the Knicks, and hopefully being able to contribute, means a lot to me. It has always been my dream to play for this team,” Ewing, Jr. said. “My goal is to show the coaches that I can play and do all that I can to help the team win some games.”
Ewing is the eldest child of Knicks legend, Patrick Ewing, who will be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame a week from today. Ewing played for New York from 1985 through 2000 and is the franchise’s all-time leader in virtually every category, including points (23,665), rebounds (10,759), blocked shots (2,758) and games played (1,039). On Feb. 28, 2003, his jersey No. 33 was lifted to the rafters of Madison Square Garden.
Weis was New York’s first-round draft choice (15th overall) in 1999.
The Indepedent Florida Alligator (Mike DiFerdinando) reports: Taurean Green doesn’t speak much Spanish, and that may be a problem. The former UF point guard confirmed Wednesday that he has agreed to play for the Spanish club CAI Zaragoza. Green is in the process of negotiating what is believed to be a one-year deal with the team. He would not confirm the specifics of the contract.
The Oklahoman (Mel Bracht) reports: Say you’re working late and can’t make it to the Ford Center to watch Oklahoma City’s new NBA team play its game that night. Instead, you log on to your computer and watch streaming video of the team’s game broadcast. Sound far-fetched? Not if the NBA has its way. The league is aggresively promoting three new Internet elements â€” video streaming in home markets, interactive TV and video-on-demand â€” for the upcoming season. Ed Desser, a media consultant for Oklahoma City’s team, said many details have yet to be worked out, and didn’t expect the team to offer the Internet elements anytime soon.
The Heat have now cut Bobby Jones for what feels like the 194th time. This marks the 2,294th time (give or take) Jones has been waived in his short NBA career. InsideHoops.com still believes he deserves to someday make a roster and stay on it for a season or two. Here’s the news:
The Miami HEAT announced today that they have requested waivers on forward Bobby Jones. Jones was claimed off waivers by the HEAT on Aug. 5 after being waived by the New York Knicks on July 29.
Jones, whose first stint with the HEAT began on Mar. 12, 2008 after signing a 10-day contract, appeared in six games with Miami during the 2007-08 season and averaged 8.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 23.8 minutes. Overall he appeared in 47 games last season, with five teams including the HEAT, and averaged 3.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 11.3 minutes per game.
I look forward to seeing how the Knicks, who are the same team as last year plus an Italian forward I haven’t seen enough of to have a firm grasp of how well he’ll do, under new coach Mike D’Antoni. Can he take the same roster Isiah Thomas had, twist around what the players do, and make these guys a winner? We’ll see. Anyway, today they added some coaching staff help. Here’s the news:
The New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that Kenny Atkinson has been hired as an assistant coach. As per club policy, terms of the contract will not be disclosed.
Atkinson joins the Knicks after spending the 2007-08 season as the Director of Player Development with the Houston Rockets where he was responsible for improving player performance through on-court, one-on-one skill development and the use of video analysis.
Atkinson joined the Rockets after three years serving as the Director of Player Development/Assistant Coach with the Paris Basket Racing Club in France from 2004-06. While in Europe, Atkinson also was a Reebok EuroCamp Coach in Treviso, Italy during the summers of 2005 and 2007. He spent the 2006 summer as the Director of Player Development for the national team of the Republic of Georgia.
Following a standout collegiate career at the University of Richmond where he led the Spiders to a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the Northport, NY-native and St. Anthony’s HS (South Huntington) graduate played professionally in Italy, France, Holland, Germany and Spain from 1991-2004.
The Miami HEAT announced Tuesday that they have claimed forward Bobby Jones off waivers.
Jones, a 6′7â€ť, 215-pound forward, appeared in 47 NBA games (two starts) last season with five different teams, including Miami. He averaged 3.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 11.3 minutes per game while shooting 42.9 percent from the field. He played in 25 games for the Denver Nuggets, nine for the Memphis Grizzlies, six for the HEAT, four for the Houston Rockets and three for the San Antonio Spurs.
Jones signed with the HEAT as a free agent on March 12, 2008 and appeared in six games. In that span, he averaged 8.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 23.8 minutes per game, while shooting 53.1 percent from the field. He led the HEAT in scoring on March 21 vs. Washington with 15 points.
During the 2006-07 season, Jones appeared in 44 games (five starts) with the Philadelphia 76ers. He averaged 2.5 points, 1.3 rebounds and 7.7 minutes per game.
Jones was originally drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the 37th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. His rights were then traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2007 NBA Draft and cash considerations. Jones played four seasons at the University of Washington appearing in 125 career games (106 starts) and averaged 9.8 points and 4.9 rebounds. He earned Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 honors as a senior and finished as the 20th all-time leading scorer in Washington history with 1,226 points while also ranking fourth all-time with 134 career steals.
What will happen first: The Nets move to Brooklyn, or TJ Kidd’s grandchildren get college basketball scholarships? Tough call. The NJ Nets, who will eventually leave Eastern New Jersey and land right in the heart of Brooklyn, NJ, have been optimistic for years now that the move is only a few years away from happening, but delays keep popping up, and now it sounds like the most realistic optimistic estimate is 2011. But to me - and I care a lot about this story because I’m a NYer but don’t actually follow it closely other than the bottom-line details - even that sounds tough to pull off. I’m guessing it doesn’t happen until 2012 or even 2013, and I’m not basing that on any real info, so feel free to toss that prediction aside.
As for the news, the New York Daily News (Julian Garcia) reports:
If the Nets do manage to sign potential free agent LeBron James before the start of the 2010-11 season, it’s possible their fans in New Jersey could get the first look at him, as opposed to those in Brooklyn. The company that plans to build the team’s new home in Brooklyn acknowledged Monday that the arena may not be open until the 2010-11 season is well underway. While saying the plan remains to move the team to Brooklyn in “calendar year 2010,” a representative of Forest City Ratner - Nets owner Bruce Ratner’s company - admitted that schedule “is in fact very aggressive.
I look forward to the eventual move, because taking the subway to and from games is much easier than always having to go specifically to the Port Authority to take the bus, which is the only public transportation option to get to current Nets games.
The Atlanta Hawks have signed free agent center Randolph Morris to a contract, it was announced today by General Manager Rick Sund.Â Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
â€śRandolph’s signing gives us additional size and depth along the frontline, with Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia,â€ť said Sund.Â â€śHe has the opportunity to grow as a player and we look forward to assisting with his future development as an NBA player.â€ť
Morris, a 6-11, 260-pound big man from Atlanta’s Landmark Christian High School, saw limited action in two NBA seasons with the New York Knicks after entering the league as a free agent from Kentucky in 2005.Â In 23 career games in New York, he averaged 2.6 points and 2.0 rebounds in 10 minutes of action.Â He played in 18 contests a year ago (with two starts) and recorded 3.1 ppg and 2.1 rpg (.362 FG%).Â He tallied career highs of eight points in two games in 2007-08, once against the Hawks on March 16.
â€śWe can certainly use a player like Randolph, whose addition will give us much need depth at the center position,â€ť said Woodson.Â â€śWe like what we saw of him during our summer league workouts, and we believe he will continue to develop his skills to become a talented player in our league.â€ť
Prior to becoming the first player in NBA history to go from the NCAA tournament to the NBA in the same week â€“ a five-day span â€“ Morris declared his eligibility for the 2005 NBA Draft following his freshman year at Kentucky, but did not sign with an agent.Â After he went undrafted and decided to attempt a return to Kentucky, the NCAA forced him to sit out the first 14 games of his sophomore season (2005-06).
At the same time, the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement prohibited him from re-entering the Draft, giving Morris free agent status throughout his 2006-07 (junior) season with the Wildcats.Â As a collegian, he finished with 12.6 points and 6.0 rebounds, and shot .578 (FGs) over 23.6 minutes in 89 games (with 79 starts) in three seasons for Tubby Smith, as Kentucky went to the NCAA Tournament in each of his three years.Â His best campaign came in that final season when he recorded career-highs of 16.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks while shooting .592 in 34 games.
Named to the 2004 McDonald’s All-America Team after a standout senior season at Landmark Christian HS in Atlanta, Morris was an AAU teammate of current Hawks forward Josh Smith and Orlando center Dwight Howard on the Atlanta Celtics squad that won the 2003 title.Â He was born January 2, 1986 in Houston, TX.
Scott O’Neil has been named president, Madison Square Garden (MSG) Sports, it was announced today by Hank Ratner, vice chairman, Madison Square Garden and Cablevision Systems Corporation. The announcement signals a management reorganization at the Garden designed to maximize business expansion and growth opportunities.
“Madison Square Garden is in a period of unprecedented growth - unlike any in our illustrious history - and it is imperative that we have the strongest and deepest management team in place to drive our strategic plans,” said Mr. Ratner. “We are pleased that Scott has joined our leadership group and are confident he will be a tremendous asset to MSG. He has outstanding expertise in sports business, a proven track record of effective management across a variety of disciplines, including sponsorship and ticket sales, as well as the ability to achieve aggressive growth objectives â€“ all of which will be crucial to our continued success.”
In his role as President, MSG Sports, Mr. O’Neil will oversee all aspects of business operations for the three sports teams, the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Liberty, as well as the Sports Properties area, which includes college and high school basketball, boxing, track & field and all other sports events. He will also oversee sponsorship sales for the teams, Arena and all arena events. In addition, Mr. O’Neil will focus on expanding the Garden’s portfolio of events, franchises and properties. As part of the reorganization, Steve Mills becomes president, business operations, MSG Sports Teams, reporting to Mr. O’Neil.
Mr. O’Neil comes to Madison Square Garden from the National Basketball Association, where, as senior vice president, he oversaw the league’s team marketing and business operations, advising NBA and WNBA teams on ticket sales and service, sponsorship development, and marketing. In addition, he oversaw the NBA’s Canadian business and the NBA Development League. Prior to joining the NBA, Mr. O’Neil oversaw the launch of HoopsTV, and honed his sales and marketing expertise with the Philadelphia Eagles and New Jersey Nets.
“Madison Square Garden is an organization unlike any other. Joining this outstanding management team, in the world’s most famous arena, is an opportunity of a lifetime,” said Mr. O’Neil. “I am looking forward to continuing to drive the expansion and growth of the sports properties, while building upon the business success of the Knicks, Rangers and Liberty, some of the most iconic brands in sports. My experience working with David Stern and Adam Silver at the NBA and their relentless pursuit of perfection has prepared me well for this opportunity.”
Mr. O’Neil, 38, was named to Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal Forty Under 40 Hall of Fame, and was named one of the nation’s top marketing executives under 40 by Advertising Age (2006). He holds a degree in Marketing from Villanova University and M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.
The New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that guard Taurean Green and guard/forward Bobby Jones have been waived. Both had been acquired on Monday from Denver, along with a 2010 second-round draft choice, for forward Renaldo Balkman and cash considerations.
I think Green will very likely get picked up by another team in the near future. Jones also belongs in the league, but isn’t a lock to return right away. Both can help a team’s deep bench.