There are still questions about how Monta Ellis really injured his ankle, and one of the biggest is whether the Warriors are investigating it or not. First there was the report that the Warriors had sent their athletic trainer to investigate his injury. Then it was reported that said athletic trainer was actually with Basketball Without Borders and not even in the country. The Contra Costa Times quoted team sources that they were skeptical about Ellis' explanation about his injury but the Warriors aren't commenting beyond the fact that the athletic trainer was not sent to Mississippi to investigate. I am sure there is more on this to come.
In conjunction with the Monta Ellis discussion, Hoopsworld has a portion of the Collective Bargaining agreement that is pretty interesting. It tells what players can and can't do. Players can't gosky-diving, hang gliding, snow skiing, rock or mountain climbing, rappelling, and bungee jumping. They can't participate in any fighting, boxing, or wrestling, operating an aircraft, driving or riding on a motorcycle or moped or riding in or on any motorized vehicle in any kind of race. They also can't participate in any game or exhibition of basketball, football, baseball, hockey, lacrosse, or other team sport or competition without permission of their team. They can, however participate in golf, tennis, handball, swimming, hiking, softball, and volleyball as an amateur. I love the last paragraph, though:
The Player agrees: (i) to give his best services, as well as his loyalty, to the Team, and to play basketball only for the Team and its assignees; (ii) to be neatly and fully attired in public; (iii) to conduct himself on and off the court according to the highest standards of honesty, citizenship, and sportsmanship; and (iv) not to do anything that is materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the best interests of the Team or the League.
Remember Yuta Tabuse? I didn't think so. Tabuse is the only Japanese player to play in the NBA. He played in 4 games for the Suns in the 2004-05 season. Tabuse started out playing for the Dallas Mavericks in the Los Angeles Summer League and but ended up in camp with the Denver Nuggets. He also spent time with several teams in the D-League and this summer he played with the New Jersey Nets in the Orlando Summer League. He hasn't gotten any offers from NBA teams and he announced on Sunday that he signed a 2 year contract with Japan Basketball League's expansion Link Tochigi Brex. His dream is still to one day play in the NBA, however.
The "experts" at ESPN are at it again as they decide the season's awards. It seems that they have a 4 way race for MVP between LeBron, Chris Paul, Kobe and Dwyane Wade with LeBron coming out on top. Doesn't leading your team to a championship count for anything? Not even one vote for KG or Paul Pierce. The top 3 for Rookie of the Year are Michael Beasley, Greg Oden, OJ Mayo. If Dwyane Wade gets his way, Beasley will get plenty of playing time so he may have a chance. Best Newcomer is Elton Brand with Ron Artest coming in second. I agree with the Elton Brand choice. He is going to make the Sixers tough to beat this season. I can't help but feel that Ron will somehow self destruct and take his team with him as he has with every other team he has been with. The funny thing is that if you look at their choices for the worst newcomer, Artest comes in third on that list with Baron Davis coming out first and Jermaine O'Neal coming in second.
Sources are reporting that the Sixers are close to signing Donyell Marshall to a veteran's minimun contract. Marshall, a 15 year NBA veteran, approached the Sixers as he wanted to go back to his home town to finish his career. He starred at Reading high before going on to the NBA. The Sixers have had interest in Marshall for weeks, but waited for Oklahoma City to waive him in order to sign him as a free agent. This brings the Sixers to 14 contracts with Jason Smith expected to miss the season due to injury.
There is still no movement in Ben Gordon's situation. Reports are that the Bulls have offered Gordon a six-year deal worth around $59 million but Gordon is asking for more like $12 million a year. He feels that being the team's leading scorer for the past 3 seasons should entitle him to that much. If in fact the Bulls are offering close to $10 million a year, Gordon should grab that. There is no guaranteeing he will get more next season as a free agent. It is possible that teams will find out that Gordon was their leading scorer not because he is so good, but because the other players around him were worse. There has been no indication that any teams are interested in a sign and trade for Gordon and if he isn't careful, he will have bypassed his chance at a very good contract. 6 years offers him security and $10 million a year isn't something to sneeze at. We have seen several players turn down decent money thinking they were worth more and then have to settle for way less. I think Gordon may be headed in that direction.
The Heat are expected to officially sign Jamaal Magloire today. They had considered Lorenzen Wright and DJ Mbenga before settling on Magloire. This gives the Heat 4 centers under contract with Alonzo Mourning not expected back until at least December. Of course with Mark Blount as your starting center, you need all the help you can get. Mbenga has an offer from the Lakers but he was looking for a more lucrative deal elsewhere and hoped the Heat would give him one. Instead, they settled on Magloire. The Cavaliers are now considering Wright to shore up their bench.