Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wooden service held at Pauley Pavilion

Photo courtesy of ESPN

Wooden service held at Pauley Pavilion
Updated: June 27, 2010, 7:51 AM ET
Associated Press, via ESPN

LOS ANGELES -- John Wooden was remembered Saturday for being "one in a billion as a coach, mentor and friend" during a memorial service uniting the decades of "boys" who helped him win a record 10 national championships at UCLA.

A sepia-toned photo of the man who answered to the simple moniker of "Coach" rested on one end of a stage inside Pauley Pavilion, where Wooden plied his trade on the basketball court.

The 10 gold-and-blue banners representing each of his NCAA titles were spotlighted in the rafters.

"His spirit will be a part of this building forever," said broadcaster Al Michaels, who opened and closed the public service attended by 4,000.

"Coach's value system was from another era, it was developed in an America that has passed on," former UCLA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said of John Wooden. Photo by Brian van der Brug - Pool/Getty Images

UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero told the crowd that Section 103B, Row 2, Seat 1 -- roped off and bathed in a spotlight -- is now retired. That was where Wooden could be found sitting for years after his 1975 retirement, watching the Bruins' games and patiently signing autographs.

"No one else will ever sit there," Guerrero said as the audience applauded.

Wooden's life, from his early humble beginnings in Martinsville, Ind., to his days as an All-American player at Purdue to the dynasty he built at UCLA, were remembered in speeches and videos.

In homage to Wooden's Irish heritage, a former neighbor opened the 90-minute service by singing and playing guitar on "Galway Bay," one of his favorite songs.

Wooden died June 4 at 99. His daughter Nan, son Jim, seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren -- the first great great-grandchild is on the way -- sat in the front rows watching as dozens of photos detailing Wooden's life and love of family flashed on the screen.

Wooden's sense of humor, often accompanied by a twinkle in his pale blue eyes, was a common theme.

Current UCLA coach Ben Howland visited an awake but weak Wooden in the hospital two nights before he died.

"I leaned over and Coach hadn't shaved in about five days," Howland recalled. "He felt these whiskers and said, 'I kind of feel like Bill Walton.' "

The crowd laughed, fully aware of Wooden's strict grooming policies for his players that banned facial hair and long hair, popular in the turbulent 1960s.

Although he didn't address the crowd, Walton was among Wooden's so-called "boys" who gathered in the darkened arena, the cheers of the fans and the squeaking of shoes on the court silenced for this day.

He was joined by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jamaal Wilkes, Keith Erickson, Walt Hazzard, Gail Goodrich, Marques Johnson, David Meyers, Henry Bibby, Michael Warren and Sidney Wicks, among others.

"Coach Wooden was one in a billion as a coach, mentor and friend," Wilkes said. "As a friend, whenever you reached out to him he always reached back unconditionally. Coach led a good life and he died a good death. Let's balance that deep grief with the joy of having known this man."

In April 1965, Abdul-Jabbar, then known as Lew Alcindor, walked into Pauley Pavilion for the first time, its wooden court not yet installed. The man who awaited him would become a lifelong friend.

A public service attended by 4,000 people was held on Wooden Court at Pauley Pavilion. Photo by Brian van der Brug - Pool/Getty Images

"Many people have asked me if Coach Wooden was for real. They wanted to know if he really didn't use foul language or really didn't tell his teams they had to win a specific game," Abdul-Jabbar told the audience. "I'm aware how cynical the world has become. Coach's value system was from another era, it was developed in an America that has passed on."

He remembered becoming interested in Islam as a UCLA student and Wooden's interest in learning about it.

"That's the one thing that always impressed me about coach," Abdul-Jabbar said afterward. "He never stopped being curious, understanding he hadn't learned everything that was possible to know."

Erickson, his voice choked with emotion, recalled some of Wooden's famous sayings ["Be quick but don't hurry"] and insistence on showing his players the proper way to put on socks and sneakers. Their typical response was disbelief and a collective roll of their eyes out of Wooden's sight.

"He believed in hopelessly out-of-date stuff that never did anything but win championships," Erickson said. "There's never been a finer man in American sports than John Wooden."

Outside the arena, Warren recalled driving Wooden to renew his driver's license when he was 95. He marveled at people's reactions to seeing the Hall of Fame coach lined up like them for such a mundane task.

"It's like walking around with Jesus or Mother Teresa," Warren said. "It may sound outlandish, but in all sincerity, when you think about the things he accomplished and how humble he remained, he's one of those figures who transcends everything -- ethnicity, gender, race."

The coaching ranks were well represented with Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre and Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia paying their respects, along with former college coaches Lute Olson, Gene Keady and Jim Harrick.

New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter, whom Torre has described as being Wooden's favorite player on his favorite team in his favorite sport of baseball, was there.

The dulcet tones of Hall of Fame baseball announcer Vin Scully filled Pauley as he spoke via video about his longtime friend.

"It's fair to say we will never see his likes again," Scully said. "Goodnight sweet prince and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."

Dudley Rutherford, senior pastor of Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch where Wooden attended, asked the crowd to roll up their programs like Wooden famously did on the Bruins' bench, touch their hearts with it and hold it skyward.

Dick Enberg, who broadcast the Bruins' games back when they were shown on tape delay in Los Angeles, last visited Wooden in March at his condo in Encino. As he left, Wooden pointed to his forehead and told Enberg to give him a goodbye kiss.

"It was to have kissed a god," he said on video.

Wizards pick John Wall at No. 1 in Kentucky-heavy NBA draft

NBA commissioner David Stern, left, shakes hands with No. 1 overall draft pick John Wall as he welcomes the Kentucky standout to the pros. Photo by Bill Kostroun, AP

Wizards pick John Wall at No. 1 in Kentucky-heavy NBA draft
By Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY

NEW YORK — Point guard John Wall led a record five Kentucky players taken in the first round of the NBA draft Thursday, while the Chicago Bulls became the latest to clear cap space in pursuit of LeBron James.

Chicago agreed to trade guard Kirk Hinrich and its No. 17 pick (forward Kevin Seraphin from France) to the Washington Wizards, who took Wall as expected No. 1 overall. He was the first Kentucky player ever chosen first.

Ohio State guard Evan Turner went next to the Philadelphia 76ers, then Georgia Tech forward Derrick Favors to the NBA-worst New Jersey Nets.

"Words can't even explain (how I feel) right now," said Wall, the national freshman of the year and Southeastern Conference player of the year.

His first-round teammates: center DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), forward Patrick Patterson (Houston Rockets), guard Eric Bledsoe (Oklahoma City Thunder), center Daniel Orton (Orlando Magic). The Big 12 had the most first-rounders: seven.

Chicago's trade, confirmed by two people familiar with the situation who asked for anonymity because deals can't be announced until the new salary cap takes hold July 8, clears about $10.3 million in salary for the Bulls. That leaves them with $30 million to go after James and another top free agent, such as Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh or Amar'e Stoudemire.

The New York Knicks and Miami Heat also have enough to go after more than one maximum-level free agent.

Underclassmen so dominated the first round that the first senior went as a record-low No. 23 pick, Clemson forward Trevor Booker to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Wall goes to a team still reeling from Gilbert Arenas' (FSY) season-ending suspension for bringing guns into the team locker room.

Wall could replace Arenas as the Wizards' point guard, or perhaps play alongside him in a potential high-scoring backcourt. He'll try to become the third straight freshman point guard to win Rookie of the Year honors after Chicago's Derrick Rose (FSY) and Sacramento's Tyreke Evans (FSY)— who like Wall also played for John Calipari.

The pick came shortly after a person familiar with the deal told the Associated Press that the Chicago Bulls had agreed to trade veteran guard Kirk Hinrich (FSY) and the 17th pick in the draft, Kevin Seraphin (FSY), to the Wizards. Hinrich is a solid veteran defensive guard who could help with Wall's transition to the NBA.

After his name was announced to begin the draft, Wall hugged family members and donned a blue Wizards cap before climbing onto the stage to shake commissioner David Stern's hand.

Predicted to finish in the top half of the Eastern Conference last season, the Wizards' season quickly spiraled out of control, reaching its low point on New Year's Day when news broke of the altercation involving guns between Arenas and fellow guard Javaris Crittenton (FSY), who also was suspended for the year. Washington eventually traded fellow stars Antawn Jamison (FSY) and Caron Butler (FSY) in a dismal 26-56 finish.

Arenas is eligible to return, but Wall is ready to take charge of the team.

"I was always a leader by example being the first in the gym and the last in the gym," Wall said. "But I'm a leader that doesn't mind speaking up to the older guys."

The Minnesota Timberwolves then grabbed Syracuse forward Wesley Johnson (FSY), whom the Nets also had considered. Stern seemed impressed by the Christmas-colored slacks worn by Johnson, who held up his leg to show them off.

Baylor's Ekpe Udoh (FSY) also is headed to Northern California, chosen by Golden State at No. 6. Detroit kept up the run of big men by selecting Georgetown center Greg Monroe (FSY) with the seventh pick, before the Los Angeles Clippers went for Wake Forest's Al-Farouq Aminu (FSY).

Butler's Gordon Hayward (FSY) went ninth to Utah, one spot before the Indiana Pacers would've faced pressure to pick the hometown star. Instead, they chose Fresno State forward Paul George before Kansas teammates Cole Aldrich (FSY) (New Orleans) and Xavier Henry (FSY) (Memphis) went with back-to-back picks.

Aldrich's rights were later sent to Oklahoma City along with veteran swingman Morris Peterson (FSY) for the rights to the Thunder's Nos. 21 and 26 picks, which became Iowa State forward Craig Brackins (FSY) and Washington guard Quincy Pondexter (FSY).

2010 NBA draft order (from USA Today)

The order of picks for the 2010 NBA draft in New York:

Team Player Pos., Ht., Wt. School/Country

1 Washington Wizards John Wall PG, 6-4, 195 Kentucky

2 Philadelphia 76ers Evan Turner SG, 6-7, 214 Ohio State

3 New Jersey Nets Derrick Favors F, 6-10, 246 Georgia Tech

4 Minnesota Timberwolves Wesley Johnson F, 6-7, 195 Syracuse

5 Sacramento Kings DeMarcus Cousins C, 6-11, 290 Kentucky

6 Golden State Warriors Ekpe Udoh F, 6-10, 240 Baylor

7 Detroit Pistons Greg Monroe F, 6-11, 240 Georgetown

8 Los Angeles Clippers Al-Farouq Aminu F, 6-8, 210 Wake Forest

9 Utah Jazz
(from New York via Phoenix) Gordon Hayward F, 6-8, 200 Butler

10 Indiana Pacers Paul George F, 6-9, 185 Fresno State

11 New Orleans Hornets Cole Aldrich C, 6-11, 245 Kansas

12 Memphis Grizzlies Xavier Henry G, 6-6, 210 Kansas

13 Toronto Raptors Ed Davis F, 6-9, 215 North Carolina

14 Houston Rockets Patrick Patterson F, 6-8, 223 Kentucky

15 Milwaukee Bucks
(from Chicago) Larry Sanders F, 6-9, 205 Virginia Commonwealth

16 Minnesota Timberwolves
(from Denver via Charlotte) Luke Babbitt
(traded to Portland) F, 6-7, 215 Nevada

17 Chicago Bulls
(from Milwaukee) Kevin Seraphin F, 6-9, 265 France

18 Oklahoma City Thunder
(from Miami) Eric Bledsoe G, 6-1, 190 Kentucky

19 Boston Celtics Avery Bradley G, 6-3, 180 Texas

20 San Antonio Spurs James Anderson G, 6-6, 195 Oklahoma State

21 Oklahoma City Thunder Craig Brackens F, 6-10, 230 Iowa State

22 Portland Trail Blazers Elliot Williams G, 6-5, 180 Memphis

23 Minnesota Timberwolves
(from Philadelphia via Utah) Trevor Booker F, 6-7, 240 Clemson

24 Atlanta Hawks Damion James
(traded to New Jersey) F, 6-7, 225 Texas

25 Memphis Grizzlies
(from Denver) Dominique Jones
(Traded to Dallas) G, 6-4, 215 South Florida

26 Oklahoma City Thunder
(from Phoenix) Quincy Pondexter F, 6-6, 225 Washington

27 New Jersey Nets
(from Dallas) Jordan Crawford
(Traded to Atlanta) G, 6-4, 195 Xavier

28 Memphis Grizzlies
(from L.A. Lakers) Greivis Vasquez G, 6-6, 210 Maryland

29 Orlando Magic Daniel Orton C, 6-10, 260 Kentucky

30 Washington Wizards
(from Cleveland) Lazar Hayward F, 6-5, 225 Marquette

Team Player Pos., Ht., Wt. School/Country

31 New Jersey Nets Tibor Pleiss
(Traded to Atlanta, then to Oklahoma City) C, 7-1, 220 Germany (Brose Baskets)

32 Oklahoma City Thunder
(from Minnesota) Dexter Pittman C, 6-11, 303 Texas

33 Sacramento Kings Hassan Whiteside C, 7-0, 235 Marshall

34 Portland Trail Blazers
(from Golden State) Armon Johnson G, 6-3, 195 Nevada

35 Washington Wizards Nemanja Bjelica F, 6-10, 223 Serbia (Red Star Serbia)

36 Detroit Pistons Terrico White G, 6-5, 200 Mississippi

37 Milwaukee Bucks
(From Philadelphia) Darington Hobson F, 6-6, 205 New Mexico

38 New York Knicks Andy Rautins G, 6-5, 190 Syracuse

39 New York Knicks
(from Denver via L.A. Clippers) Landry Fields F, 6-7, 210 Stanford

40 Indiana Pacers Lance Stephenson G, 6-5, 225 Cincinnati

41 Miami Heat
(from New Orleans) Jarvis Varnado F, 6-10, 210 Mississippi State

42 Miami Heat
(from Toronto) Da'Sean Butler F, 6-7, 225 West Virginia

43 Los Angeles Lakers
(from Memphis) Devin Ebanks F, 6-8, 210 West Virginia

44 Milwaukee Bucks
(from Golden State via Portland via Chicago) Jerome Jordan C, 7-0, 235 Tulsa

45 Minnesota Timberwolves
(from Houston) Paulao Prestes C, 6-10, 275 Brazil

46 Phoenix Suns
(from Charlotte) Gani Lawal F, 6-9, 230 Georgia Tech

47 Milwaukee Bucks Tiny Gallon F, 6-10, 302 Oklahoma

48 Miami Heat Latavious Williams F, 6-8, 205 Tulsa 66ers (NBDL)

49 San Antonio Spurs Ryan Richards F, 6-11, 230 England

50 Dallas Mavericks
(from Oklahoma City) Solomon Alabi
(traded to Toronto) C, 7-1, 240 Florida State

51 Oklahoma City Thunder
(from Dallas and Minnesota) Magnum Rolle C, 6-11, 225 Louisiana Tech

52 Boston Celtics Luke Harangody F, 6-7, 240 Notre Dame

53 Atlanta Hawks Pape Sy F, 6-7, 225 Senegal

54 Los Angeles Clippers
(from Denver) Willie Warren G, 6-4, 200 Oklahoma

55 Utah Jazz Jeremy Evans F, 6-9, 190 Western Kentucky

56 Minnesota Timberwolves
(from Phoenix) Hamady Ndiaye C, 6-11, 235 Rutgers

57 Dallas Mavericks Ryan Reid F, 6-8, 235 Florida State

58 Los Angeles Lakers Derrick Caracter F, 6-9, 280 Texas-El Paso

59 Orlando Magic Stanley Robinson F, 6-7, 210 Connecticut

60 Phoenix Suns
(from Cleveland) Dwayne Collins F, 6-8, 238 Miami (Fla.)

Team-by-team analysis: Sizing up draft night fortunes
By Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY

Team-by-team breakdown and analysis after the 2010 NBA draft:

Atlanta: With the 24th pick, the Hawks got Texas swingman Damion James, then traded him to New Jersey for what ended up to be Xavier guard Jordan Crawford. Atlanta needs size, but Crawford is a quality scorer.

Boston: The Celtics took Texas guard Avery Bradley at No. 19. A combo guard, he needs work on his jump shot. But Boston needs a backup point guard to run the offense who is not worried about scoring.

Charlotte: The Bobcats did not have a first- or second-round pick.

Chicago: The Bulls had the 17th pick but will send forward Kevin Seraphin of French Guyana to Washington when trades are announced July 8. The deal gives the Bulls more salary-cap room for two top-tier free agents.

Cleveland: The Cavaliers did not have a first- or second-round pick.

Dallas: The Mavericks did not have a first-round pick but purchased the rights to South Florida guard Dominique Jones from Memphis. Dallas gets a scorer on the perimeter.

Denver: The Nuggets did not have a first- or second-round pick.

Detroit: Georgetown forward/center Greg Monroe went at No. 7. He is considered one of the best passers in the draft, and he step in if Ben Wallace retires.

Golden State: The Warriors, with the No. 6 pick, took Baylor's Ekpe (the "k" is silent) Udoh. The 6-10 forward is a skilled shot-blocker and rebounder. Backcourt depth was another need, but Udoh should fit in with Golden State's fast-paced tempo.

Houston: The Rockets took Kentucky forward Patrick Patterson, a versatile offensive player, with the 14th pick. With an NBA-ready body, Patterson needs to focus on defense. He has time with Houston, which looks to return to the playoffs with a healthy Yao Ming.

Indiana: The Pacers, at No. 10, took Fresno State forward Paul George, who can knock down three-pointers, is an outstanding leaper and flourishes in the open court. Indiana still needs a point guard but none was worth the 10th pick.

Los Angeles Clippers: The Clippers added to an already promising frontcourt with Wake Forest forward Al-Farouq Aminu at No. 8. He is another athletic big man with defensive and rebounding skills and who's strong in transition. The Clippers also acquired combo guard Eric Bledsoe of Kentucky in a trade with Oklahoma City, adding much-needed depth in backcourt.

Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers selected West Virginia forward Devin Ebanks at No. 43 and UTEP forward Derrick Caracter at No. 58. Both will have to battle for roster spots.

Memphis: The Grizzlies took Kansas shooting guard Xavier Henry at No. 12. He is a scorer who joins a team of scorers. A center would have been helpful but one wasn't available there. At No. 28, they took Maryland combo guard Greivis Vasquez, known for his fierce competitiveness.

Miami: The Heat are focused on free agency. But they took Texas center Dexter Pittman at No. 32 and West Virginia forward Da'Sean Butler at No. 42.

Milwaukee: The Bucks, with the 15th pick, took Virginia Commonwealth big man Larry Sanders, a great shot-blocker and rebounder who can run the court. His offense is a work-in-progress.

Minnesota: The Timberwolves took Syracuse forward Wesley Johnson with the No. 4 pick. Johnson is a versatile athlete who can score from three-point range and get out on the break. Through separate trades they ended up with Portland Trail Blazers forward Martell Webster and Marquette forward Lazar Hayward. Minnesota is loaded at forward, but Johnson adds a much-needed perimeter threat and liked the triangle offense when he worked out for the team.

New Jersey: By selecting forward Derrick Favors at No. 3, the Nets added another piece to their frontcourt. Favors needs work on offense but the tools are there, and he is committed on the defensive end. He can rebound and block shots. With the 27th pick, the Nets took Xavier guard Jordan Crawford, a great scorer inside and out, but traded him to Atlanta. The Nets are still in search for a perimeter scorer.

New Orleans: The Hornets took Kansas center Cole Aldrich at No. 11. Aldrich is a large (6-11, 245) interior presence who can rebound and block shots. But like many big men entering the NBA, he needs to improve offensively. But a proposed trade which requires league approval would send Aldrich and guard Morris Peterson to Oklahoma City for Iowa State forward Craig Brackins, the Thunder's 21st pick, and Washington Huskies guard Quincy Pondexter, the Thunder's 26th pick. This trade gives the Hornets cap room and more young scoring at two positions.

New York: The Knicks did not have a first-round pick. But with the 38th and 39th picks in the second round, New York took Syracuse guard Andy Rautins, a long-distance shooter, and Stanford forward Landry Fields. Like Miami, the Knicks are looking at free agency.

Oklahoma City: With the 21st pick, the Thunder took Iowa State forward Craig Brackins, a solid scorer and rebounder. The Thunder took Washington's Quincy Pondexter, an athletic guard who can do a little bit of everything. But a proposed trade would send him and Brackins to New Orleans for Aldrich and Morris Peterson. It's a wise move for the Thunder, who also acquired the rights to Tibor Pleiss to develop centers.

Orlando: The Magic drafted Kentucky center Daniel Orton with the 29th pick. Orton has the physical tools, including strength in the low post. But, like his college teammate DeMarcus Cousins, is Orton mature enough for the NBA after just one year of college? With center Dwight Howard and assistant coach Patrick Ewing, Orlando looks like the right place

Philadelphia: With the No. 2 pick, the 76ers took shooting guard Evan Turner of Ohio State. Philadelphia drafted a proven winner, a leader and a scorer. Not only the best available, he fills a need for a team that needs help now.

Phoenix: The Suns drafted Georgia Tech forward Gani Lawal at No. 46 and Miami's Dwayne Collins at No. 60. They'll battle for roster spots.

Portland: The Trail Blazers, at No. 22, took Memphis guard Elliot Williams, who can play the point or two guard. He gives Portland versatility. The Blazers also got a creative scorer in Nevada forward Luke Babbitt. But their draft was overshadowed by general manager Kevin Pritchard's dismissal.

Sacramento: The Kings drafted Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins with the No. 5 selection. At 6-11, 290 pounds and with gifted physical skills, Cousins is regarded as the best big man in the draft. The Kings needed a center, and they got one. But he must overcome questions about his maturity. The Kings also took a chance on Marshall center Hassan Whiteside, a 7-footer with tremendous potential.

San Antonio: With a proven track record in the draft, the Spurs drafted Oklahoma State guard James Anderson at No. 20. The Big 12 player of the year is a scorer with a great range on his jump shot. He can play at shooting guard or small forward. Gives the Spurs more backcourt depth.

Toronto: The Raptors, at No. 13, drafted North Carolina forward Ed Davis. The son of former NBA player Terry Davis, he can rebound and block shots but his offensive game in halfcourt sets needs improvement. Potential and willingness to learn are positives.

Utah: With the No. 9 pick, the Jazz drafted Butler forward Gordon Hayward, who made a name for himself in the NCAA tournament. Gordon can score inside and out.

Washington: The Wizards selected Kentucky's John Wall with the No. 1 overall pick.

Trade wrap-up: Plenty of wheeling, dealing on draft night
By Yannis Koutroupis, via USA Today

A recap of a busy night of NBA draft day trades, plus analysis of their potential impact:

• The Atlanta Hawks get Jordan Crawford and Tibor Pleiss; the New Jersey Nets get Damion James.

Analysis: With Joe Johnson potentially leaving in free agency the Hawks get their top choice in Crawford. It cost them James, one of the best rebounders and defenders.

• The Oklahoma City Thunder get Cole Aldrich and Morris Peterson; the New Orleans Hornets get Craig Brackins and Quincy Pondexter.

Analysis: The Hornets save $6 million, putting them under the luxury-tax threshold while receiving two promising rookies. Aldrich should help to shore up the Thunder's poor rebounding. Peterson will become one of the team's elder statesmen.

• The Dallas Mavericks get Dominique Jones; the Memphis Grizzlies get cash.

Analysis: The Mavericks, always willing to spend, got Jones to address shooting-guard issues.

• The Minnesota Timberwolves get Martell Webster; the Portland Trail Blazers get Luke Babbitt and Ryan Gomes.

Analysis: Webster never panned out. The Trail Blazers get two solid forwards. Gomes should be able to step in and contribute right away.

• The Los Angeles Clippers get Eric Bledsoe; the Thunder get a future first-round pick.

Analysis: The Clippers are hoping to be back in the playoffs next year and needed a backup for Baron Davis. Bledsoe should transition back to point guard.

• The Washington Wizards get Kirk Hinrich and Kevin Seraphin; the Chicago Bulls get a future second-round pick.

Analysis: Seraphin is a nice big man who could wait a year or two before going to the NBA. Hinrich will play the same role as in Chicago. His acquisition leads to questions about the future of Gilbert Arenas.

• The Miami Heat get Dexter Pittman; the Thunder get Daequan Cook and Eric Bledsoe.

Analysis: The Heat are creating cap space. Pittman gives the Heat their replacement for Joel Anthony.

• The Milwaukee Bucks get Corey Maggette and the No. 44 pick; the Golden State Warriors get Dan Gadzuric and Charlie Bell.

Analysis: The Warriors finally found a taker for Maggette. The Bucks might lose John Salmons to free agency. Gadzuric will help improve the Warriors' lackluster interior play. Bell will give leadership.

• The Warriors get the No. 44 pick and cash; the Trail Blazers get Armon Johnson.

Analysis: The Warriors want to save as much as they can. The Trail Blazers add one of the draft's best point guards but don't have much room for him now.

• Also: Dallas sent No. 50 Solomon Alabi to Toronto for a future second-round pick and cash; Oklahoma City gets No. 31 Pleiss from Atlanta for cash.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Interest in Darren Collison heating up

NBA At 2: More Interest In Collison
By: Bill Ingram
Hoops World
Last Updated: 6/15/10 2:09 PM ET

It seems every team in the NBA sees the writing on the wall in New Orleans. Darren Collison is the real deal, and showed in his rookie season that he can flat out play. He averaged 12.4 points and 5.7 assists overall, but his numbers as a starter when Chris Paul went down with an injury are even better - 18.8 points and 9.1 assists on 48% shooting and 43% from three. Those numbers are good enough to earn him the attention of teams in need of a point guard . . .teams like the Indiana Pacers.

Yesterday we reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers have interest in Collison as a possible upgrade to Mo Williams; today Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports that the Pacers, too, have reached out to the Hornets to see what it would take to land Collison.

The issue for the Pacers is that in order to reach the next level - the playoffs, in Indiana's case - they need a radical upgrade at point guard. There has been talk that they might find their future floor leader in the draft with Avery Bradley, but the reality is that Bradley is a question mark at the NBA level. TJ Ford is going to exercise his player option on next season, and while Ford has been a solid point guard, he's not a star player by any stretch of the imagination, nor is his back-up, Earl Watson. The Pacers have gone as far as either of their current guards can take them, and it hasn't been far enough.

The issue for Indiana is that New Orleans isn't willing to give up their prized possession unless it's a means to an end. They want to unload Emeka Okafor's bloated contract, or at least get out from under James Posey. The Pacers have been unwilling to take on big, long-term contracts, as their big picture plan since Larry Bird and David Morway teamed up to turn the franchise around has been to have cap space next summer. They've been unwilling to entertain offers that jeopardized that plan . . .and getting Collison would force them to seriously re-evaluate the plan.

That said, some players are worth such a re-evaluation, and Collison may prove to be exactly that kind of player.

Jordan Farmar contributing to Lakers' quest for a championship

Boston's Rajon Rondo, right, and Lakers' Jordan Farmar fight for a loose ball during Game 6 of the NBA Finals at the Staples Center on Tuesday. (CJ Gunther / European Press Agency)

Jordan Farmar, Sasha Vujacic prove the Lakers do have something in reserve
By Broderick Turner, Los Angeles Times
June 16, 2010 | 12:01 p.m.

The backup guards play a big role in the Lakers' Game 6 romp of the Celtics, fortifying a second unit that has been criticized.

They knew what was at stake.

They knew what was on the line.

And they knew they had not been performing up to par in the NBA Finals.

For Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic, two guards the Lakers count on to come off the bench and be productive, they both knew they had to fill a void.

Both of them did, playing solid in the Lakers' 89-67 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 6 on Tuesday night at Staples Center.

"It doesn't matter what happened the entire year," Vujacic said. "We're playing for the season right now. We played as a team and we came out knowing that we got to win. We played like champions. We haven't done anything yet. We've got to win one more."

Vujacic scored nine points, his series high, in 14 minutes. He was three for six from the field, two for four from three-point range. He also had one assist and one steal.

Farmar scored four points in 17 minutes. He also had three steals.

"I wanted to take advantage of the situation," Farmar said. "Not knowing how much I was going to play, I just tried to make the most of the opportunities. I tried to get my hands on balls, dive on the floor and do the little things to make a big difference."

Vujacic and Farmar had been a part of a Lakers' second unit that was starting to be questioned about their poor play in the Finals.

But in Game 6, the Lakers' reserves outscored their Boston counterparts, 25-13. It was 24-0 after three quarters.

"We were just as a unit unbeatable tonight," Vujacic said. "We knew we had to play together no matter who was on the floor. We knew that we can't lose the game tonight, and we would not give up."

The Lakers had 13 steals, five by the second unit.

The Lakers threw their bodies on the court for loose balls, the second unit doing it just as much as the starters.

"I think for the most part, everybody was on the floor," Farmar said. "Everybody had a bunch of jump balls and were really getting down and making sure that we were aggressive."

Game 7 is Thursday night.

The Lakers' reserves know they will play a role in the outcome.

"It's nice to be in front of the home crowd," Vujacic said. "They were our sixth player [Tuesday night]. They really give us the energy we needed, and hopefully they are going to be like that in Game 7."

Friday, June 4, 2010

Coach John Wooden dies at 99

Former UCLA coach John Wooden dies at 99
KABC 7 Los Angeles
Friday, June 04, 2010

By Amy Powell and Miriam Hernandez

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden has died of natural causes at the age of 99.

According to UCLA, John Wooden passed away at 6:45 p.m. Friday at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. He had been admitted to the hospital on May 26 for dehydration.

Funeral services will be private. A public memorial for the legendary coach will be announced at a later date.

Wooden is considered one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time, building a dynasty at UCLA with 10 national championships. Seven of those were consecutive, between 1967 and 1973.

At one point, the Bruins had an 88-consecutive-game winning streak.

On Thursday, word about Wooden's hospitalization spread immediately on the Internet and at the Staples Center, where the Lakers and the Celtics were playing Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

"We all appreciated his teaching and his mentoring of his college students," said Lakers coach Phil Jackson. "His coaching has been an inspiration to all of us coaches."

Lakers player Jordan Farmar, who was a UCLA point guard from 2004 to 2006, said Wooden was a big figure in his life.

"(He's) a big reason why you go to UCLA in the first place and wear that jersey and play for a the school he helped build so much tradition," Farmar said.

Wooden began his career at UCLA in 1948 and won 620 games before retiring in 1975.

On his website, there are a number of photographs chronicling his extraordinary life and career, including his own playing days at Purdue University.

For many years, Wooden has been a regular at Vip's Family Restaurant in Tarzana. He calls it his favorite coffee shop.

"The coach gave me his book. He's not only the coach for basketball. He's coach for life. I really learned a lot from him," said Paul Ma, owner of Vip's Restaurant.

In recent years, Wooden has dealt with a number of health issues. There are reports that he was briefly hospitalized about a month ago.

After retiring from coaching, Wooden had more success as an author and speaker, and he remains highly respected by UCLA students.

"He's the best basketball coach of all time," said Edwin Gonzalez, a UCLA student. "His teachings can be applied to life."

The following statement was issued by Nan and Jim Wooden on the passing of their father, John Wooden:

We want to thank everyone for their love and support for our father. We will miss him more than words can express. He has been, and always will be, the guiding light for our family. The love, guidance and support he has given us will never be forgotten.

Our peace of mind at this time is knowing that he has gone to be with our mother, whom he has continued to love and cherish.

We wish to express our gratitude for your support and appreciate your respecting our privacy.


"Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of being." -- John R. Wooden

Legend lost: Former UCLA coach John Wooden, 99, dies
By David Leon Moore
June 4 2010

LOS ANGELES — During UCLA's run through the 2006 NCAA basketball tournament to a championship game loss to Florida, Bruins coach Ben Howland frequently honored the legacy of former coach John Wooden.
"He was a better person than a basketball coach," Howland said more than once.

Considering that Wooden was arguably the greatest coach in the history of the game, it was quite a statement.

And, perhaps, no exaggeration.

Wooden died Friday night of natural causes at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, according to the university. He was 99.

It was reported Thursday night that Wooden had been hospitalized at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Former UCLA star Bill Walter, who played for Wooden while with the Bruins, said Thursday from Game 1 of the NBA Finals in Los Angeles that he had visited Wooden in the hospital two days earlier.

His civic and athletic honors seem like the achievements of many men, not just one.

He is enshrined in the basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach.

He was a three-time all-state high school player — a 5-10 guard — in Martinsville, Ind., leading his team to a state title in 1927.

He was a three-time All-American at Purdue and led the Boilermakers to two Big Ten titles and the 1932 national championship.

He was a high school teacher and coach for 11 years, served in the Navy during World War II and then was hired in 1946 as the athletics director, basketball coach and baseball coach at Indiana Teachers College, which became Indiana State University. His basketball teams at the college went 47-14.

He was hired in 1948 to coach basketball at UCLA, beginning a 27-year tenure with the Bruins that ended with the 1975 national championship, his 10th. He was 620-147 at UCLA.

Wooden was a man of wisdom and patience and, on occasion when he didn't like a referee's call, of bad temper. But he rarely if ever cursed on the bench. A typical outburst from Wooden might be something like "goodness gracious sakes alive."

He gathered together his principles and philosophy of life and sports into what became known as "The Pyramid of Success," and it certainly worked for him on and off the court.

Wooden admired those who served others, and he frequently told people his greatest heroes in history were Abraham Lincoln, for his courage and his ability to say a lot in a few words, and Mother Teresa, for her passion in helping others.

He was well-read, humble and completely devoted to his wife, Nell, who died in 1985 after being married to Wooden for 53 years. The basketball court at UCLA was dedicated "Nell and John Wooden Court" on Dec. 20, 2003.

Earlier that year, Wooden traveled to the White House to receive the U.S. Medal of Freedom, the highest honor awarded a U.S. civilian.

At the ceremony, then-president George W. Bush called Wooden "an example of what a good man should be."

Wooden lived modestly in his later years in a small apartment in Encino, Calif., filled with his beloved books, as well as many awards and trophies.

The one individual honor he cherished most, he used to say, was the Big Ten Medal for Academic Achievement, a small medallion he kept in his living room.

"It's given to the athlete with the highest grade-point average," he said proudly. "I earned that. That wasn't teammates. That wasn't the coach. So I'm more proud of that than anything."

In an interview in his apartment in 1999, he was asked what was the greatest accomplishment in his 27-year career at UCLA.

"The fact that almost all my players graduated," he said. "And almost all of them have done well in their professions — lawyers, doctors, dentists, eight ministers. I'm very proud of them."

As a coach, he was, to many observers, simply the best.

The achievements of the Bruins were incredible, earning him the nickname "The Wizard of Westwood" and filling UCLA's Pauley Pavilion with banners honoring him and his remarkable teams.

The stretch from 1964 to 1975 was amazing, something no one came close to either before or after his coaching days.

He won his first NCAA title in 1964, his 16th season at UCLA, with a small, quick, pressing team starring guards Walt Hazzard and Gail Goodrich and thriving largely because of a devastating full-court zone press.

The Bruins won the title again in 1965 with two returning starters.

In 1967, the Lew Alcindor (later Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) era began. With Alcindor in the middle, the Bruins won three consecutive titles.

After Alcindor left, the Bruins continued to win. Teams featuring a front line of Sidney Wicks, Curtis Rowe and Steve Patterson won titles in 1970 and '71, increasing the consecutive-titles streak to five.

Then Bill Walton arrived. "The Walton Gang" won two more titles, in 1972 and '73, making it seven in a row for UCLA.

The string was broken when the Bruins, in Walton's senior year, lost in a memorable Final Four semifinal to North Carolina State.

The next year, with one returning starter, forward David Meyers, UCLA won another title, beating Kentucky in the final, and Wooden, then 64, retired.

His last dozen years as coach remain by far the most dominant stretch by one team in college basketball history.

The era included 10 national titles, four undefeated teams and NCAA-record winning streaks of 88 games overall and 38 games in the NCAA tournament.

Through it all and after he retired, Wooden always passed the credit to others. He won all of those games and all of those championships, he said, because of the skill, sacrifice and teamwork of his players.

His former players remained in close contact with him, even — maybe especially — players with whom he had clashed during their playing days.

Walton, a long-haired rebel who sometimes didn't see eye to eye with Wooden, years later sent his sons to school with slips of paper in their lunch bags containing Wooden quotations.

"Everything he said turned out to be right," Walton said years later. "He didn't teach basketball. He taught life."

Wooden regularly attended Bruins games the past three decades, sitting behind the team's bench. But even during dark days for UCLA teams, he always made it clear he was an observer and a fan, not a judge or a critic.

The coaches came and went. The latest, Howland, grew up in Santa Barbara, Calif., watching late-night taped telecasts of the best of Wooden's teams.

During the 2006 tournament, Howland talked frequently about Wooden and called him the greatest coach in the history of basketball.

And, to some, he was an even greater person.

UCLA's savior in 1995 Tyus Edney wants to coach

Thanks to Puffdaddy for posting this story on BZ.

Taking Another Shot
By Frank Burlison Staff Writer
The Long Beach Press-Telegram
Posted: 06/03/2010 10:41:09 PM PDT

Former Bruin Edney, known for his heroic drive in '95, is attempting a return, as a coach

Former Poly High and UCLA point guard Tyus Edney wants to become a college coach after a 14-year pro playing career. (Stephen Carr Staff Photographer for the LB Press-Telegram)

It was a scene-a college basketball player hitting a buzzer-beating shot, giving his team a victory and setting off an on-court celebration, including his mobbing by teammates-that has played out countless times at other venues and in other seasons since that March 19, 1995 late afternoon at Boise State University.

More than 15 years later, though, anyone with the slightest of interest in college basketball and all that is March Madness has seen the specific image from Boise replayed countless times:

Tyus Edney taking an in-bound pass from Cameron Dollar with 4.8 seconds remaining, weaving his way by a couple of Missouri defenders and then putting just enough arc on a shot to clear the hands of a 6-foot-9 defender and give the ball an opportunity to glance off the backboard and through the net while the horn was sounding to give UCLA a 75-74 second-round NCAA Tournament victory.

The win enabled the Bruins to advance to the West Regional in Oakland, where they knocked off Mississippi State and Connecticut, and then on to the Final Four in Seattle, where the Jim Harrick-coached club topped Oklahoma State in a semifinal and dethroned defending champion Arkansas for the program's first national title in 20 years.

Edney has launched thousands of jump shots and layups and covered a lot of literal and figurative miles during his basketball travels since that shot in Boise.

But even now, about a year after wrapping up a playing career that included four seasons in the NBA and 10 more with various clubs in Europe, Edney can clearly dissect the dynamics leading into, during, and after those 4.8 seconds in Boise.

"During the timeout," the Poly High graduate-Class of 1991-said the other day, talking about the two minutes before the teams returned to the floor for that final sequence, "Coach Harrick talked about me getting the ball down the floor as quickly as possible, for a quick pass to someone or a shot myself, if I got a good look."

There were at least three critical elements that allowed Edney to eventually get the ball up on the backboard glass, he explained.

"Cameron did a great job of inbounding the ball to me as I was turning away (from the baseline where Dollar was delivering the pass), so I was able to catch it as I was approaching full speed," he said. "If I had to come back (to receive the pass), I probably wouldn't have had enough time to get all the way (for a shot) in time."

With the Tigers' Jason Sutherland trying to slow Edney down just as he was crossing the mid-court stripe, Edney was able to slip past him at full speed with a left-to-right, behind-the-back dribble.

With teammates Ed O'Bannon, Toby Bailey and J.R. Henderson shadowed by defenders, Edney took the ball toward Derek Grimm, who stood flat-footed with both hands above him along the right side of the key.

"I'm sure he (Grimm, the tallest player on the floor for the Tigers) was told by his coaches `make sure you don't foul!' during the timeout," Edney said. "But I still had to shoot around him, instead of over him."

After releasing the ball, Edney came down just under the basket.

"And I turned and looked up just as the ball was going through the net," he said.

"And then everything kind of went into slow motion-it (the ensuing bedlam) was almost dream-like."

It's a rare week when the 37-year-old Edney, who relocated to Southern California last fall to pursue a coaching career, doesn't encounter those who want to talk about "The Shot."

"When I was in Europe (five of his seasons there were spent with Italian-based teams), no one asked me about the shot because no one follows college basketball there," he said. "But, since I've been back, it's amazing how many people want to talk about that game and shot. It has kind of taken on a life of its own, in a way."

Edney, whose best NBA season came as a rookie with Sacramento, has no regrets about opting to go the European route instead of bouncing around as an NBA backup.

"I wanted to start and play as much as I could," said Edney, who led Benetton Treviso to Italian `Super Cup' championships in 2002 and '03.

The money was good "although, I did play for some teams that missed paydays sometimes," he said.

He got to see more of Europe than all but a few Americans and came away fluent in Italian "and I can speak and understand some Russian and Greek as well," he added.

He opened the 2008-09 season with a team in Spain was injured and release before moving to a club in Poland in January and playing his last game in Europe last June.

"I could have continued playing in Europe but I didn't like the offers that were coming my way," Edney said. "So I thought it was time to move on to the next phase of my life."

He had been heavily influenced by coaches Ron Palmer (at Poly High, where he helped lead the Jackrabbits to a 1990 Southern Section title), Harrick and Mike D'Antoni (he played for the now-New York Knicks coach while with Benetton Treviso), "and, over the past last few seasons in Europe, I was playing with a lot younger guys than myself. So, in a way, I already `coaching' then."

Edney spent part of last season helping coach the Dominguez High program but now has his sights set on coaching on the college level.

"I went to the Final Four (in Indianapolis) to let people know I wanted to get into coaching," he said.

"And I've met with four or five other head coaches (including Ben Howland at UCLA and Dan Monson at Long Beach State) since. Hopefully, I'll find some opportunity before too long."

No matter where that opportunity is, Edney is aware that, invariably, conversations will often be steered toward that that dash-and-shot in Boise.

And he will patiently go along with it, with equal parts acceptance and pride alike.

"I can't say that I mind it at all," he said.

We wish you all the best, Coach Tyus!

Get well soon, Coach Wooden

John Wooden resting comfortably
June 4th, 2010, 9:31 am

Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden is resting comfortably at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and spent a peaceful night, according to a news release from the university.

The release also said that Wooden was admitted to the hospital on May 26 because of dehydration. At the request of the family, no other information regarding Wooden’s condition will be released.

The family of Coach John Wooden and the UCLA Family thank all of Coach’s fans for their wonderful thoughts and prayers.

There will be another update this afternoon.

John Wooden continues to 'rest comfortably,' UCLA says
The LA Times
By Chris Foster
June 4, 2010 | 5:34 pm

Former UCLA Coach John Wooden continues to “rest comfortably” at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, according to statement released by UCLA on Friday afternoon.

No information was given about his condition. But Wooden, 99, is in grave condition, according to sources who have seen him but are not authorized to speak publicly about the situation. He has refused food, one of the sources said.

Family members are at Wooden’s side, the UCLA statement said, but a parade of former players and other friends have come to the hospital in recent days, including Bill Walton, Jamaal Wilkes and Michael Warren.

Wilkes told the Associated Press that Wooden recognized him and that the coach's mind remains "sharp as a tack," although he says the Wooden's body is "very, very frail."

Wooden’s family said in the release, “tell all of coach’s fans that their thoughts and prayers are truly appreciated.”

Wooden won 10 national championships as UCLA’s coach before retiring after winning the 1974-75 title.

But 35 years later his influence is still felt on the UCLA campus.

“Years ago when my little brother had a brain tumor, my dad sent Coach Wooden a letter asking for a copy of his ‘Pyramid of Success,’ ” said Caity Campos, a 19-year old UCLA freshman who works in the football office.

“Coach Wooden had never met my dad, but he sent an autographed copy that said, ‘To David and his dad, best wishes.’ That meant a lot to David. He was given little chance to live, but ended up getting a degree from Stanford.”

Campos said that her father, who is a teacher, "still has the autographed Pyramid hanging in his classroom.”