Adelaide 36ers power forward Diamon Simpson has signed with the Houston Rockets (NBA) after a successful debut season in the NBL.
The 6'7" Californian (with a wingspan of almost 7'1") performed admirably for the Sixers in what was ultimately a disappointing season for the young squad overall. Adelaide finished the season with an 8-20 record, putting them dead-last in the 2012 iiNet Championship, but Simpson was a shining light for them all season long.
Simpson averaged 14.6ppg (11th in the league) in just 25 minutes per game. In terms of accuracy, his bruising style of burrowing his way to the basket, often through taller defenders, earned him a league leading 59.2% field goal shooting.
He ranked third in the league at 8.6 rebounds per game -- a fair effort given the limited minutes he was afforded by head coach Marty Clarke.
The Rockets have signed Simpson to a guaranteed contract for the remainder of the NBA season (eight games remaining). He has a non-guaranteed contract for the 2012/13 season, potentially making him a filler piece for trade discussions in the off-season, should he fail to impress in the short time available.
It is questionable as to whether he will see any minutes in Houston, however the Rockets have not been adverse to power forwards on the smaller side in the past. That said, Simpson's style (and wingspan) is anything but small. He has an ability to get to the basket in stagnated post-up situations, through a series of spin and back-down moves, culminating in him taking shots in the chest of taller defenders, negating their ability to block his shot.
He averaged 1.5 blocks per game in the NBL, good for second in the league (3.45 blocks per 48 minutes).
Simpson will wear #20 with the Rockets, who are on the verge of entering the NBA Playoffs (currently sitting eighth in the Western Conference) in what is a major turn of fortunes for the St Mary's product after his season in Adelaide.
In what is the most interesting Loren Woods news since.... well, ever, the former NBA player was arrested this week for driving under the influence of alcohol in Tampa, Florida. He then allegedly attempted to bribe the arresting officer with $2,200 of cash.
From the report at WTSP.com:
According to his arrest report, 33-year-old Loren Woods was driving erratically shortly before 4 a.m. when a Tampa police officer pulled him over for suspected DUI.
As the officer approached the vehicle, Woods reportedly exited and began walking away. The officer stopped him and noted in the arrest report that Woods had alcohol on his breath, was slurring his speech, and his eyes were glassy.
Woods allegedly refused to perform a field sobriety test, saying such tests were biased against black people and that he would only do it if a black officer administered them.
He was arrested for DUI after repeatedly refusing to take the test as well as a breath test.
As Woods was taken into custody, the officer counted about $2,200 in cash that was on him and placed it on the hood of the police car.
"You want to take that?" Woods asked. The officer told him that it would be placed with his property to which he reportedly said, "I don't got no property. You take that and I jet."
Woods then allegedly denied bribing the officer, saying he saw no cash on the hood.
When again asked if Woods was suggesting the officer take the money, he replied, "I said it disappears."
After being drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2001, he evenutally played for the Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors and Houston Rockets, as well as a slew of European teams. Most recently he has been playing in the Iranian Basketball Super League.
Perhaps Woods' greatest achievement was recording 14 blocks for the University of Arizona versus Oregon as an NCAA junior in 2000.
Incidentally, Woods played with Tim Duncan at Wake Forest... and isn't this a killer of a photo of T-Robot?
Landry Fields is known for making the ladies weak at the knees and occasionally throwing down the odd dunk, but in this game against the Orlando Magic, Fields took down referee Bill Kennedy to the floor.
Anyone who has been unfortunate enough to catch Stephen A (aka "Screaming A") Smith on ESPN's basketball coverage knows that he can be obnoxious at the best of times. He makes his living from shouting at the camera in an attempt to produce controversy.
This time around he was involved in a debate of sorts with fellow ESPN commenter Skip Bayless about whether the San Antonio Spurs or Oklahoma City Thunder were the better team. Bayless pointed out the contributions of Tiago Splitter and Patty Mills as a solid factor in the Spurs' favour. As you will see, Screaming A went on to ridicule the name of Patty, rather than actually pointing out any flaws in his game. Quite a few Spurs fans have gotten up in arms about this.
Thanks to Project Spurs for the footage.
As every hardcore Patty Mills fan knows, the speedy Aussie point guard has joined the San Antonio Spurs on a two year deal, after some visa wranglings were eschewed out of the way.
Project Spurs, the best place to go for all news related to Mr Robinson's Neighbourhood, today has a short piece with video news footage of Patty settling in to San An.
Michael Jordan -- Air Jordan XX3 Commercial
I believe MJ is telling us not to bother buying his shoes in this advert. After all, it's not about the shoes...right?
I actually had no idea that Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague could get up like this.
Word is, Patty Mills is about to join Australian Boomers coach Brett Brown, with the San Antonio Spurs. There has long been speculation that this would be a good situation for Patty to walk into, with Spurs Assistant Coach Brown there as mentor.
In addition to the Brown connection, Patty joins a line of famous Aussie guards in Spurs colours, namely Andrew Gaze and current Sydney Kings interim coach, Shane Heal. Mills has a similar game to Spurs starting point guard, Tony Parker -- encompassing speed and scoring ability.
More on the machinations at BlazersEdge.
Jerai Grant has had an impressive rookie 2011/12 season as an import for the Sydney Kings. At the tender age of 23 years old, the athletic power forward has taken to his first professional gig with aplomb. Sure, there have been times where he has flown a little under the radar, but when he has shone, he has really made an impact.
- Defence. The guy swats shots with reckless abandon. His long arms and leaping ability make for an impressive package. He also has a knack for getting those limbs into loose balls in the paint.
- Dunks. The guy gets up. See video below.
- Hustle. There are times where Grant appears to be the guy out there with the most desire.
- Coachability. Grant comes from a solid basketball pedigree (father: Harvey Grant; uncle: Horace Grant) and appears to take on coaching advice willingly.
- Mid-range jumper. Grant's mid-range jumper, whilst still not perfect, is a decent asset.
- Post game. To be a true force, Grant needs to develop some serious post moves, allowing him to be a franchise player, rather than just a complementary player to a bigger star post player.
- Consistency. There are times where Grant goes missing on the court, largely when plays are not designed to involve him. This is something that will come with time and with an improved ability to score points independently.
Statistics, in 25 games so far:
11.5ppg (fifth on team), 8.1rpg (second), 1.5bpg (second), 54.9% FG% (first), 0.8spg (second).
The Kings have put together a highlights package of some of Grant's dunks and swats this season. The team are currently seeking to re-sign him for 2012/13.