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NBA Today - Nov. 2

NBA Today - Nov. 2

NBA today - Nov. 2
Associated Press

SCOREBOARD

Friday, Nov. 2

Washington at Boston (8 p.m. EDT).

Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett make their debut with the Celtics against the Wizards.

STARS

Thursday

-Tayshaun Prince, Pistons, scored a career-high 34 points and matched a career best with 12 rebounds, in a 91-80 victory over Miami.

-Tracy McGrady, Rockets, scored 47 points and Houston beat Utah 106-95.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Carlos Boozer had 30 points and 16 rebounds in Utah's 106-95 loss to Houston on Thursday night.

SIGNED

Al Jefferson signed a five-year, $65 million with the Minnesota Timberwolves just before the deadline Wednesday night. The 22-year-old forward was acquired from Boston in a trade July 31.

WAIVED

The New Jersey Nets waived guard David Wesley on Thursday, less than a week after the team traded for the 14-year veteran. The Nets acquired Wesley on Monday from New Orleans for swingman Bernard Robinson, center Mile Ilic and cash considerations.

SPEAKING

''We feel like it's Game 8 for us. We wanted to get this win and start our new season.'' - Yao Ming after Houston's 106-95 win at Utah on Thursday night. Yao was referring to the seven-game series the Jazz rallied to win last season.

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Sacramento Kings sign G Beno Udrih to fill in for Bibby
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Guard Beno Udrih signed with the Sacramento Kings on Thursday, potentially filling a hole in the club's lineup while Mike Bibby is out with a thumb injury.

Udrih, who won two NBA championship rings with the San Antonio Spurs, was waived Monday by the Minnesota Timberwolves after they acquired him in a trade with San Antonio earlier in the day.

The Spurs got rid of the backup point guard, who spent three years with the club, after he lost his job to Jacque Vaughn during last season's run to the title. The Slovenian guard also broke his left index finger during training camp last month.

But the Kings need Udrih, who might become their starting point guard while Bibby heals his injured right thumb, which could keep him out for two more months.

The only other point guard on the Kings' roster was newcomer Orien Greene. The Kings waived guard Mustafa Shakur on Wednesday night, creating a spot on their 15-man roster.

Udrih appeared in 207 regular-season games in San Antonio, averaging 5.2 points and 1.8 assists. He was chosen by the Spurs with the 28th overall pick in 2004.

The Kings, who lost their season opener at New Orleans on Wednesday, visit San Antonio on Friday night.

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Nets waive veteran guard David Wesley, less than 1 week after trading for him
ASSOCIATED PRESS

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New Jersey Nets waived guard David Wesley on Thursday, less than a week after the team traded for the 14-year veteran.

The Nets acquired Wesley on Monday from New Orleans for swingman Bernard Robinson, center Mile Ilic and cash considerations. At the time, the Nets said they told Wesley not to report to the team and that they would assume the guaranteed portion of his $1.75 million contract.

New Jersey used the trade to get under the league's luxury tax level of $67.87 million.

Wesley averaged 12.5 points and 4.4 assists during 14 seasons in the NBA, including the 1993-94 campaign with the Nets. He played in 35 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers last season, averaging about 10 minutes.

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NBA's gaming affair

For those people who ever doubted that more than a few National Basketball Association games were fixed, last season brought out perfect proof that it definitely has happened.

After being busted by the FBI, banished referee Tim Donaghy admitted that he had been betting on NBA games for four years, including ones that he officiated in. The probe discovered that among the games Donaghy wagered on the most heavily, his bets covered the point spread 15 consecutive times. In his dealings he provided inside information such as player injuries to others who also placed bets.

For defenders of the NBA's image and integrity, it was a punch right in the gut. Since Donaghy was placing wagers on other referees' games, that indicates that other refs had tendencies and biases, and Donaghy knew them. And if Donaghy knew the tendencies of other officials, then they surely knew Donaghy's too. To think that Donaghy was the only person in the NBA involved in this conspiracy would be naive.

Donaghy will forever be known as the fool in this story, but his is simply the classic case of a man who had a gambling addiction that got out of control. Donaghy is just the product and victim of an environment that embraces gambling, one created by NBA Commissioner David Stern.

Always a businessman first, and perhaps jealous of the great kinship between gambling and the NFL, Stern is now fascinated with Nevada. Stern has thoroughly explored the possibility of building an expansion team in Las Vegas. The Olympic qualifying team trained and played its tournament in Las Vegas. Last year's All-Star Game was played for the first time in, you guessed it, Vegas. Where did the All-Star referees stay in Las Vegas? The MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.

Stern stated that the NBA launched its own earlier investigation into the Donaghy matter, however the casinos have no record of it. In fact, when Stern found out that more than half of his referees had violated NBA gambling policy by entering gaming areas, he decreed it to be a bad rule, so now all refs are allowed to participate in off-season casino gambling.

Of course, in the past Stern had handled Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan, huge bettors compared to Donaghy. Ever the marketing genius, after Magic Johnson and Larry Bird retired, Stern guided Michael through six championships. But what was with Michael's pathetic 1 1/2 year attempt at playing professional baseball, or should I say his gambling suspension? Why was Jordan's father murdered? And why have fans never seen a single Ping-Pong ball come out of the draft lottery machine?

Like the marketing campaign for the 2007-08 season says, the NBA is "Where amazing happens." Stern himself stated, "Amazing is where Ben Wallace's hair happens, where Donaghy happens, where clubbing happens, where registered weapons happen. We invite our fans to mesh up whatever happens. It's all there. We are the absolute reflection of what's going on out there in the world. Anyone who doesn't think so doesn't know what's going on in the world."

If things are going to be that ugly in your world Commissioner Stern, by all means, stop telling us what is happening in it.

Predictions: Division winners - San Antonio, Phoenix, Utah, Boston, Chicago and Washington.

Other playoff teams - Dallas, Houston, Denver, LA Lakers, Golden State, Cleveland, Detroit, New Jersey, Toronto, and Orlando.

Finals - Commissioner Stern said he "would be concerned if television ratings are poor again this year," which translates into "don't expect San Antonio to go all the way again." Although the Spurs have won four out of the last nine championships, they never repeat anyway. The pick here is Phoenix over Cleveland.

www.nevadaappeal.com

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NBA In Las Vegas? Don't Bet Against It Yet

When the NBA referee gambling scandal broke this summer, there was only one sure thing ahead. That Vegas was never going to get an NBA team. Forget about it. No chance.

The gambling scandal combined with the highly publicized--though not necessarily accurate--portrayal of mayhem in town surrounding the All-Star Game meant that it was time to cross the NBA off the Sin City list.

But over the past two weeks, I've come to see that this is clearly not the case. Last week, Sacramento Kings co-owner Joe Maloof said this to me: "I think eventually there will be a team in Las Vegas. It's very important. It's a great market. It's ready ... (and) it needs professional sports."

So when I interviewed NBA commissioner David Stern on Tuesday, I had to ask him the Vegas question: "It's the fastest growing city in America," Stern said. "If I were going to bet the over/under, and of course I'm not a betting man, I think that five to ten years is probably an interesting time." So it wasn't a definite "yes," but it was certainly more of a yes than a no.

www.cnbc.com

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Seattle business group offers to buy SuperSonics and not move team
November 2, 2007

SEATTLE (AP) -A group of local investors has offered to buy the SuperSonics in response to a threat by the team's owner to move Seattle's oldest major league professional sports franchise to Oklahoma City.

The group headed by Dennis H. Daugs, a private wealth manager and managing director of Lakeside Capital Management LLC, issued a news release Friday saying the group had written a formal letter of interest to Sonics owner Clay Bennett of Oklahoma City, who also owns the Seattle Storm of the WNBA.

Bennett is unhappy with Key Arena and has threatened to move the club unless an agreement was reached to build a new stadium by Wednesday. He has not addressed the club's future since the deadline passed.

``We want to recapture the spirit and love of basketball in Seattle by bringing the Sonics and Storm back to local ownership,'' said Daugs, a former minority owner of the NBA franchise.

The statement did not identify anyone else in the group and Daugs didn't name other members Thursday in an interview with The Seattle Times. How much the group would bid also was unclear.

Bennett, who bought the Sonics from a local group headed by Starbucks Coffee chairman Howard Schultz for $350 million last year, has said the club is not for sale. Schultz's group paid $200 million for the franchise in 2001.

``This town loves the Sonics and Storm,'' Daugs said in the statement. ``We have a genuine appreciation of the fan base. We respect the many loyal fans and we want to build a populist movement to keep the teams here. We believe there is strong local support for the Sonics and Storm.''

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