The Sydney Kings have today made public their desire to re-sign star players Julian Khazzouh, Jerai Grant and Anatoly Bose.
The trio lead the team in scoring (along with Aaron Bruce), rebounding and blocked shots.
Luke Martin, Graeme Dann and Ben Madgen already are signed through the 2012-13 season.
That leaves Bruce, Luke Cooper, Alex Gynes and import Kevin Ratzsch as the players receiving regular playing time who are yet to be approached, at least publicly, about playing with the team next season.
With the Kings hanging by a thread to an NBL Finals chance this season, with every win needed from here on in order to get into the top four, next season is obviously a big focus for the team. No doubt much can be learn from what was not achieved this season.
Back in August, Kobe Bryant was involved in an alleged incident whereby a San Diego church parishioner claimed that Bryant grabbed his wrist, thinking that he was taking photos of him with his cameraphone.
No charges will be filed against Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant in connection with a cellphone incident at a Carmel Valley church last summer, city prosecutors said Tuesday.
This, on the face of things, sounds like another case of a gold-digger looking for a chance at money/riches in connection with a superstar. If this is true, it's a true shame that they chose a place of worship in which to do it.
Bryant was accused of grabbing a parishioner’s cellphone during Sunday Mass at St. Thérèse of Carmel Catholic church on Aug. 14 because he thought the man was taking photos of him. The basketball player then reportedly handed the phone back to the 21-year-old man after seeing no photos.
The alleged victim went to the hospital complaining of wrist pain.
Check out the sensationalist beat-up of this news reporter who tries to bring up the ye olde sexual assault case in the conversation:
In other Bryant news, apart from the trivial fact that he passed Shaquille O'Neal to move into fifth on the NBA's all-time scoring list, comes this much more important news: Kobe doesn't pack his own bags.
Yep... you heard right. Check out the breaking news here (oh, and Metta World Peace doesn't like roaches):
New York Knicks fans don't know where he came from, but Jeremy Lin has exploded into an amazing force at the point guard position over the past two games.
On Saturday, with 3:35 to go in the first quarter, Lin came off the bench to lead the Knicks to a 99-92 win over the New Jersey Nets and Deron Williams. He ultimately played 36 minutes, scored 25 points (10/19 FG, 5/7 FT), dished off seven assists, grabbed five rebounds and had two steals, to go with only one turnover.
Coach Mike D'Antoniwas happy with Lin finally providing a point guard presence on the Knicks roster (despite being the third-stringer previously):
"The biggest thing is, he's got a point guard mentality," said D'Antoni.
The Harvard graduate, after jumping from the Golden State Warriors, to the Houston Rockets, to the Knicks, has been impressing more than just his coach.
"He has been breaking down guys in practice for a while now," Tyson Chandler said. "We were saying at halftime he just needs to play more minutes."
"He won the game for us," Carmelo Anthony said.
And then D'Antoni decided to start Lin at the point against the Utah Jazz last night. Lin repaid the faith as he led the Knicks to a 99-88 victory.
In 45 minutes, Lin recorded 28 points (10/17 FG, 7/9 FT), eight assists and two steals, however did blemish that line with eight turnovers. He scored on a variety of drives to the basket, showing a quick first step and an ability to absord contact and finish with both hands. He also mixed it up with some jump shots and an array of great passes in the lane to the likes of Chandler.
Check out one of Lin's amazing drives:
Of course, the Taiwanese animators at Next Media Animation were over the moon with Taiwanese-American Lin's emergence and honoured his 25 point Nets performance with one of their famous animations:
The question is, where does Lin go from here? At 200 pounds and 6'3", the guy has proven that he is stocky and strong enough to play the NBA game. He has a quick first step, however how long will he surprise opponents for now that he has had two huge back-to-back games? It will certainly be interesting to watch on Wednesday as the Knicks take on the Washington Wizards, presumably with Lin at the point again. Could he be the long-term answer at the point for the Knicks?
Projecting a long way down the track, could Lin be voted to the NBA All-Star team in 2013 on the back of some Asian support? I know a huge number of my Asian friends are excited about a possible NBA successor to Yao Ming.
The NBA today suspended Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves) for two games, after he stomped Luis Scola (Houston Rockets) on the face and chest on February 4.
Amazingly, there are still fans on some message boards and comments sections who claim that Scola was somehow at fault (and deserved it), you know, since he's South American and all... The blatant racism by many American fans against European and South American players continues to astound me.
The play by Love was flat-out dirty and highly disappointing from one of the league's hardest working players. This type of behaviour needs to be stomped out (pun intended) immediately, before it becomes endemic in the NBA game. A two game suspension, in my opinion, was insufficient. The fact that an official didn't spot the incident is also somewhat troubling.
We've featured various NBA stars here in the past, teaching English basketball-related phrases for English Baby!. Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic is the latest player to help out the English-learning masses with this clip, talking about slang for shot-blocking.
Superman 2.0's natural personality comes across in this video and he even shows off some of his Mandarin-speaking skills that he learnt whilst in China.
Other English Baby! stars we've featured previously:
Owen Good, over at Kotaku, has an interesting piece on the surprising resurgence of popularity in NBA 2K11.
At first blush it doesn’t seem to stand out: NBA 2K11 cracked the top 20 of most played titles on the Xbox 360 for the week of Jan. 16. But when you peel it back, that’s actually quite astonishing, to see an old version of a sports video game resurface more than 15 months after its release.
Surprising it is, although not altogether unbelievable.
Whilst the guys at 2K Sports would be happy with this increased shelf-life of an old title, it may cast unfavourable aspersions on their newer NBA 2K12 hoops game.
As Good points out, there could be a few factors at play here:
The "Jordan Challenge" mode on NBA 2K11 was extremely popular and emblematic in hoops games in recent times;
There have been problems with the 2K12 multiplayer mode;
Simply, the price of an older title is always cheaper after reductions come into shops;
A case of possible confusion, when people look at the similar Jordan cover of the 2K11/2K12 titles. Irregular sports gamers can be confused by the naming conventions on yearly release sports games.
The other thing is, there has been some negative sentiment with regard to the playability of 2K12 amongst some gamers. Many will claim that 2K11 is simply "too hard" which is often put off as "game play problems" amongst those that are struggling to play a tightly controlled simulation. For the casual gamers -- those more inclined toward the likes of NBA JAM -- a sports sim can be too full-on sometimes. And often, you will simply play the game that your friends are playing, thus leading to a return to the more favoured NBA 2K11.
Whatever the reason, it's an interesting set of circumstances to see in play.
Unfortunate news for Andrew Bogut and the Milwaukee Bucks as the star big man went down with an ankle injury nine minutes into their victory over the Houston Rockets yesterday.
Our hearts go out to Bogey. Ankle injuries are one of the most unavoidable aspects of basketball -- they can happen even when you're not in a highly tense contest. This one has put Bogut out "indefinitely". The most likely beneficiary of additional minutes will be Drew Gooden.
You can see how it happened 20 seconds into this match recap:
Inexplicably, Bogut is reporting receiving hated-filled negativity via twitter following the injury. The wonders of the cranially-bereft on the internet will never cease, will they?
The fracture to his ankle puts Bogut's preparations for the London 2012 Olympics with the Australian Boomers in doubt. A key focal point of the Boomers offence and defence, along with point guard Patty Mills, the absence of Bogut would mean a huge drop in the projected rankings for the Aussies. That said, with six months today until the Games start, there is time for recovery.
There is always going to be some rivalry when the Clippers and Lakers match up in a Los Angeles cross-town duel. And of course, there is always that thing that a lot of American players seem to have against Spaniards and other "Euro floppers". So, when things got heated at the end of this Lakers victory, it's no wonder that Chris Paul over-reacted to a good natured Pau Gasol rub on the head.
Watch the video and see what you think...
And this is what the two players had to say after the game, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times:
What do you think? Did CP3 over-react, or did he have a right to be angry about this gesture?