Marc J. Spears

  • Former No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett hopes to revive career with hometown Raptors

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 15 hrs ago

    SAN JOSE, Calif. – Anthony Bennett made history by becoming the first Canadian to be named the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. Now a little more than just two years later, and on his third team, the new Toronto Raptors forward is back home with hopes of removing a far less flattering title from his résumé: bust.

    "Lots of ups and downs," Bennett told Yahoo Sports prior to the Raptors preseason game against the Golden State Warriors. "There a couple [things] you got to avoid. There are also a lot of people you have to have in your circle, like family and friends, who tell you to keep your head up. That's pretty much what I've been going through."

    When asked what he is trying to avoid, Bennett said: "Just the media stuff. I try not to look too much into that stuff."

    The 2013 NBA draft led by Bennett could go down in history as one of the worst ever.

    Bennett did average 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds as a true freshman at UNLV, but his top selection was a surprise because he had shoulder surgery the month before the draft and was considered an undersized power forward.

    Does Bennett wish he wasn't selected No. 1?

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  • Steve Kerr's injured back forces leave of absence from Warriors

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago

    OAKLAND, Calif. – Steve Kerr addressed the Golden State Warriors on Thursday as he normally does at the start of practice. But the Warriors are uncertain when their head coach will be around again as he has taken a leave of absence to focus on rehabilitation and recovery from two offseason back surgeries.

    "It's tough," Warriors center Andrew Bogut told Yahoo Sports after Thursday’s practice. "He needs to address it now. You don't want that thing popping up in December or January again. It's much like if someone had a knee problem or someone was hurt right now, he is going to be watching practice and not doing anything.

    "It's the same for Coach Kerr. We're thankful we know our [offensive] sets and have a good enough coaching staff that we can adapt on the fly. It gives us a bit of a different look."

    "You can tell he is not himself," Bogut said about Kerr. "He has been here the past two days, but he wasn't moving around well and he was sitting down every five or 10 minutes."

    Said Myers: "We're confident in Steve’s absence that [Walton] will step up and do a wonderful job for however long that may be."

  • Ben Gordon slims down with vegetarian diet, now he hopes to make the Warriors

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 7 days ago

    OAKLAND, Calif. – Avocados, oatmeal, textured vegetable protein, pasta, juice and smoothies were part of Ben Gordon's typical diet at the end of last season. In his quest to make the Golden State Warriors' roster, the veteran shooter plans to return to vegetarian mode from time to time to keep his body sharp.

    "I experimented with it this summer and the end of last season," Gordon said after the Warriors' first practice of the season on Tuesday. "As you get older you try to see different things that work for you. I'm not doing it right now, but I try to do it functionally depending on how my body feels.

    "With all the running and stuff, protein is hard to get by [on a vegetarian diet]. … I like to mix it up."

    Gordon, 32, averaged between 15-22 points during the first five seasons of his NBA career, including a career-high 21.4 points during the 2006-07 season. He built a reputation early in his career as one of the NBA's most feared outside threats. But since 2009, his scoring average has largely declined. He's also battled health issues.

    "It was good," he said. "It cleaned out my system. My energy felt great."

  • Derrick Rose suffers orbital fracture, will have surgery

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 7 days ago

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    Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose suffered a left orbital fracture during the team's first practice of the season on Tuesday.

    A timetable for Rose's return will be determined after the surgery, which is scheduled for Wednesday, the Bulls said.

    Rose was struck in the face by an elbow during practice and taken by the Bulls' medical staff to Rush University Medical Center in Chicago for tests, which revealed the need for surgery.

    Rose has been limited to 100 of a possible 328 games the past four seasons because of injuries. The 2011 NBA Most Valuable Player averaged 17.7 points and 4.9 assists for the Bulls last season.

    Chicago could turn to Kirk Hinrich, Aaron Brooks or E'Twaun Moore while Rose is sidelined.

  • Kobe Bryant doesn't plan to play for anyone but Lakers if he continues his career

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 8 days ago

    EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Kobe Bryant has a message for Phil Jackson, Los Angeles Lakers fans and anyone else who thinks he will finish his NBA career elsewhere.

    "A lot of players want to go to different teams or contend to win championships," Bryant told Yahoo Sports at the conclusion of the Lakers' media day on Monday. "I'm a Laker, man. I'm a Laker for better or worse."

    Jackson, who coached Bryant and is now president of the New York Knicks, recently told New York media that he thinks Bryant could play for another team after his contract with the Lakers expires after this season.

    "I don't think it's his last year," Jackson said. "Sounds like it might be his last year as a Laker."

    Bryant, 37, is entering his 20th season with the Lakers. He's making $23.5 million in the final year of his contract, and if he does continue to play, he expects he'll do so in a Lakers uniform.

    "I'm a Laker, man. How many times do I have to say that?" Bryant said "Dude, I bleed purple and gold."

    "This is where he made his life," Worthy said. "It would mean a lot to him."

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  • Jason Richardson on retirement: 'I didn't want to limp the rest of my life'

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 13 days ago

    Jason Richardson spent five hours alone at a park in Atlanta on Tuesday contemplating the future of his NBA career. In the end, he decided it was time to retire.

    Richardson's 14-year NBA career included back-to-back dunk titles and a career scoring average of 17.1 points per game, but was also riddled by injuries, most notably to his left knee. Richardson, 34, told Yahoo Sports that an MRI on Monday revealed he had bone spurs in his previously healthy right knee. After talking to his wife, Jackie Paul, on Tuesday, Richardson made the decision to retire on his own.

    "I didn't want to limp the rest of my life," Richardson told Yahoo Sports in a phone interview. "I still have my whole life in front of me, God willing. I sat alone at a park in Atlanta thinking and no one said anything to me because they didn't recognize me since I just got there. I talked to my wife for an hour on the phone and then I sat for five hours thinking while listening to music before deciding that retiring was the right thing to do."

  • Source: Grizzlies agree to sign veteran center Ryan Hollins

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 14 days ago

    The Memphis Grizzlies have agreed in principle to sign veteran free-agent center Ryan Hollins, a source told Yahoo Sports.

    Hollins, 30, is expected to sign a one-year veteran’s minimum contract. The 7-foot, 240-pounder averaged three points and 2.2 rebounds in 46 games for the Sacramento Kings last season.

    The nine-year NBA veteran’s chances to make the Grizzlies seem promising because All-Star center Marc Gasol is currently the only true center on the roster. Memphis currently has 14 guaranteed contracts and can keep 15 players on its roster during the season.


  • Source: Veteran guard Luke Ridnour to sit out 2015-16 NBA season

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 16 days ago

    After being traded four times this offseason, NBA free-agent guard Luke Ridnour has made a move that will keep him from getting dealt next season and possibly ever again.

    Ridnour has decided that he will not play the 2015-16 NBA season, a source told Yahoo Sports. The 12-year NBA veteran has not announced his retirement although his return to professional basketball appears doubtful. Ridnour received interest in free agency, but it wasn’t reciprocated.

    Ridnour, 34, averaged career lows in 47 games with the Orlando Magic last season: four points, two assists and 14.5 minutes per game. He was slated to make $2.75 million in the final year of his contract before the Toronto Raptors, who acquired him from the Oklahoma City Thunder on June 30, requested waivers a day before the deal became guaranteed July 10. Ridnour had only been traded three times total prior to this offseason.


  • Norris Cole signs one-year qualifying offer with Pelicans

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 21 days ago

    Guard Norris Cole has signed a one-year qualifying offer for $3.03 million with the New Orleans Pelicans, agent Rich Paul told Yahoo Sports.

    Cole averaged 7.6 points and 3.4 assists while shooting 31.3 percent from three-point range with the Pelicans and Miami Heat last season. The 6-foot-2, 174-pounder is expected to play a key reserve role in new coach Alvin Gentry's up-tempo offense.

    Cole joined the Pelicans as part of a three-team, trade-deadline deal in February.

    The four-year NBA veteran will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.

    Cole was selected with the 28th pick in the first round by the Chicago Bulls in the 2011 NBA draft, but began his career with the Heat after a couple of draft-day trades.


  • Celtics great JoJo White tapes Hall of Fame speech

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 28 days ago

    Former Boston Celtics star JoJo White, who had surgery to remove a brain tumor five years ago, has pretaped his induction speech for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

    White, 68, will attend this weekend's ceremony in Springfield, Mass., and will be on stage when the video of his speech is shown.

    White had a brain tumor removed in 2010. Though he can speak, there was concern it would be difficult for him to read his speech with the pressure of the time limit during the ceremony, which will be televised live.

    White played 10 seasons with the Celtics where he won two championships and was also the 1976 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player. After his 12-year NBA career ended, the seven-time All-Star became a community ambassador for the Celtics, who retired his No. 10 jersey. The former University of Kansas star was a two-time second-team All-American and a member of the U.S.' 1968 Olympic gold-medal basketball team.