Lakers drop Bryant future hint

 Lakers drop Bryant future hint

Kobe Bryant

Los Angeles Lakers president Jim Buss hinted the club would be ready to hold discussions about possibly extending Kobe Bryant’s NBA career when the star’s current contract expires at the end of the 2015-2016 season.

Buss told the Los Angeles Times in an interview published on Friday that Bryant’s history with the Lakers ought to grant him the opportunity to call time on his career on his own terms.

“We’re going to approach it like it is, but that doesn’t mean it is,” Buss said of Bryant’s possible final season in the NBA.

“I’m not going to sit there and say, ‘This is it, Kobe, you’re done,’ because it’s not my decision, it’s his decision.”

Bryant, 37, will earn $25 million this year. He was granted a two-year contract worth $48.5 million in 2013 but has since played only 41 games over two seasons because of knee and shoulder injuries.

Buss hit back at critics of the decision to award Bryant such a generous contract despite his advancing years and injury record.

“The man has done so much for the Lakers and the fans of the Laker nation, he deserves the money,” Buss said.

“I don’t understand anybody trying to break down what I did for him. Let’s break down what he did for us, then say, what is he worth? To me, he’s worth that.”

Asked if he expected this season to be Bryant’s final year with the team, Buss reportedly extended his arms wide open and replied: “My arms are like this.”

“He just has to know, at that age, and that many miles on you, what is your role? We’ll explain the role, and if he still wants to do that and that’s how he wants to go out, that’s fine with me,” Buss said.

Bryant has won five NBA titles with the Lakers, in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010.

August 29, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players 0 Comment

NBA: ‘I want to play for Philippine national team’

NBA: ‘I want to play for Philippine national team’

Jordan Clarkson

Rising NBA star Jordan Clarkson said Thursday he is eager to play for the Philippines’ national basketball team despite citizenship concerns from the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).

“I want to assure my Filipino brothers and sisters that, if given the chance and everything can be worked out, I sincerely wish to play for Gilas and contribute to the total team effort for flag and country,” Clarkson said in a statement released by the Basketball Association of the Philippines (SBP).

Clarkson, whose mother hails from the Philippines, is visiting the basketball-crazy Southeast Asian nation and has joined the national team, Gilas Pilipinas, for practice.

The 23-year old, who plays guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, said that he was in the country to familiarise himself with the national team and would even accompany them when they play at the 2015 Jones Cup basketball tournament in Taiwan.

The basketball association’s executive director Sonny Barrios said he was hopeful they could clear all the requirements of FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, in time to get Clarkson to play for Gilas in China in September at the Asia qualifying round for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics.

“He is simply stating his willingness, he is not stating that he will play,” Barrios clarified.

Barrios told AFP that the association was rushing to submit the documents that would allow Clarkson to play as a Filipino for Gilas Pilipinas in the Olympic qualifier.

The deadline for naming the Philippine team for the qualifier is September 8 but Barrios said they would have to submit Clarkson’s documents even sooner.

“We have to submit it ASAP so they will still have time to evaluate. I am racing against time,” he said.

FIBA rules allow one naturalised player on each national team but the Philippines already has a naturalised player in its squad, former Brooklyn Nets centre Andray Blatche.

August 27, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players Tags:
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Masai Ujiri and team expected in Rwanda for Giants of Africa basketball Camp

Masai Ujiri expected in Rwanda

Masai Ujiri expected in Rwanda

The Nigerian born Toronto Raptors General Manager will lead a 3-day sessions in Rwanda designed to help young basketball players develop athletically, achieve life goals and become better players

MasaiUjiri and the Giants of Africa (GOA) team are expected in Rwanda from august 13 to 15 on their maiden leg of their 4-nation African tour to hold basketball camp for 50 selected kids from across this country.

Ujiri, the Nigerian born General Manager of Canada based NBA side, Toronto Raptors are celebrating the 12th year of supporting the growth of basketball in Africa, expanding its camps from Nigeria and Kenya to include Ghana and Rwanda this summer.

Nigeria was the first point of call from August 3-5 with Ghana’s running from August 7-9, Kenya from August 10 -12 and Rwanda from August 13-15.

“We are excited to be here to teach kids fundamentals of basketball and also life skills. Rwanda is an upcoming we had interest in for many years and we are thrilled to be heading there,” MasaiUjiri said recently.

50 kids from all over Rwanda, who will be selected by coaches, will be taken through basketball clinic at Amahoro indoor stadium.

Since the Giants of Africa camps began, more than 100 camp attendees have moved on to high school or university in the United States, with around 20 now playing professionally in Europe.

Modeled after the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders outreach program, Giants of Africa’s approach is to use the game of basketball as a means to teach and nurture important life skills, ‎bringing together top coaches to help run the sessions and are designed to help young basketball players develop athletically, achieve life goals and become better players.

In addition to on-court basketball skills development, Giants of Africa strives to help foster participants via life skills support and local community outreach initiatives as has been outlined to be executed in Rwanda over the next three days.

“Our mission is to promote the game of basketball and grow the NBA. We want to continue to grow here and make it a yearly camp,” the Toronto Raptors GM signed off.

In Rwanda, Ujiri will be accompanied by MahlalelaUmutozawho is the assistant coach of Toronto Raptors, Patrick Mutombo (Assistant coach of Denver Nugget), Patrick Engelbreght (Scouting Manager of Toronto Raptors) and Toronto Raptors’ Director of Basketball Operations, Harry Ezenibe.

Others are Amadou Gallo Fall (NBA Africa Representative), Kita Matunguluand Franck Traore (NBA Africa), ImeUdoka (San Antonio Spurs assistant coach) and Abel Nson (Africa Basketball Association Coordinator).

August 10, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players 0 Comment

Lebron, Curry among 34 stars set for Olympic camp

LeBron James and Steph Curry, opponents in this year’s NBA Finals, were among 34 NBA players named Thursday by USA Basketball as participants in this weekend’s Olympic mini-camp in Las Vegas.

Reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Curry led the Golden State Warriors to the NBA title over James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in June’s best-of-seven final.

Last year he helped the US win the Basketball World Cup to clinch a berth in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

USA Basketball national team managing director Jerry Colangelo said that players who wanted consideration for the Rio squad needed to attend the workouts next Tuesday through Thursday, when a public scrimmage will be staged.

“This year’s minicamp is an opportunity to continue and expand the brotherhood and camaraderie that has been built,” said Colangelo, who has overseen the squad since 2005.

“The minicamp is going to be low key with light workouts, no contact and the USA Basketball Showcase will be a fun all-star type game.”

The workout roster includes eight newcomers, 11 players from the World Cup champions and eight members of the 2012 London Olympic gold medal squad.

Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James, New York’s Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers are back after playing on the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London gold medal teams.

Also back from winning London gold are Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City, Cleveland’s Kevin Love, Houston’s James Harden and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis while Houston’s Dwight Howard is back from the Beijing gold medalists.

Among the World Cup championship team members in the camp are Sacramento’s Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins, Detroit’s Andre Drummond, Denver’s Kenneth Faried, Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving, Portland’s Mason Plumlee and Golden State’s Klay Thompson.

Other program veterans include Washington’s John Wall and Bradley Beal, the Clippers’ Blake Griffin, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan, Utah’s Gordon Hayward, Dallas’ Chandler Parsons and San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard.

Also back is Indiana’s Paul George, who suffered a broken leg at a training camp for last year’s World Cup that wiped out his 2014-15 NBA season.

Newcomers to the camp joining the US program for the first time next week are NBA champion Golden State’s Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green, Chicago’s Jimmy Walker, Memphis’ Mike Conley, Milwaukee’s Michael Carter-Williams, Orlando’s Tobias Harris and Victor Oladipo plus DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers.

“All of them enjoyed outstanding NBA seasons in 2014-15 and have been on our radar for a while,” Colangelo said.

The overall camp line-up includes the NBA’s top 10 scorers, six of its top 12 rebounders and seven of the top 11 players in assists from last season.

Duke University coach Mike Krzyzewski is set to return as coach for a third consecutive Olympics.

Since the revamped US program began in 2005 follow a 2004 Athens bronze medal, the Americans are 75-1, the lone loss to Greece in a 2006 World Championships semifinal in Japan.

August 7, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players 0 Comment

Danilo Gallinari stays with Nuggets

Danilo Gallinari

Danilo Gallinari

After restructuring his deal, the Denver Nuggets have signed forward Danilo Gallinari to a multiyear contract extension, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced on Tuesday.

Gallinari, 6-10, 225, appeared in 59 games (27 starts) for Denver last season, averaging 12.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 24.2 minutes per game.

The 26-year-old closed out the 2014-15 season by averaging 19.1 points and 4.9 rebounds over the final 22 games while shooting 45 percent from the field, 40 percent from three and 90 percent from the charity stripe. He also eclipsed the 40-point mark two times during this stretch, including a career-high 47 v Dallas on April 10, the most points ever scored in the NBA by an Italian-born player.

The six-year veteran was drafted by the New York Knicks with the 6th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. Gallinari has appeared in 344 career games (274 starts) with Denver and New York, averaging 14.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists. He has been a member of the Nuggets since being acquired via trade in 2011.

August 7, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players 0 Comment

Biggest African presence ever in the NBA

Festus Ezeli

Festus Ezeli

A successful NBA Game held over the weekend in Johannesburg, South Africa, marked a new beginning in the history of the game in Africa.

And, to complete the NBA popularity on the continent, there will an unprecedented nine Africa-born players in the NBA rosters in the upcoming 2015-16 season.

Maurice Ndour (Dallas/Senegal), Salah Mejri (Dallas/Tunisia), Walter Tavares (Atlanta/Cape Verde) and Emanuel Mudiay (Denver/DR Congo) have signed their first contracts with NBA teams, and will be joining Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder/Congo), GorguiDieng (Minnesota Timberwolves/Senegal), Luol Deng (Miami Heat/South Sudan), Mbah a Moute (free-agent/Cameroon), and Festus Ezeli (Golden State Warriors/Nigeria).

Yanick Moreira (Angola) and YoussouNdoye (Senegal) have pre-season agreements with the Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs, respectively, and if all goes according to the plans, the number of Africa-born players could reach a record eleven players in a single season.

And, if the NBA Game Africa is to continue, we’ll probably have a chance to see some of the new recruits coming home to show their basketball skills as well.

Just the way, Hakeem Olajuwon did during the exhibition game.

Olajuwon, the best Africa-born NBA player in the history the game so far, stepped on court at the age of 52 to remind everyone what made him an Hall of Famer.

In just 2.14 minutes, the Nigerian stole the show, executing his celebrated Dream Shake move in front of Montenegrin Nikola Vucevic to score his two points for the delight, not only of the sellout crowd at the Ellis Park arena, but also for fans worldwide who tuned into Youtube videos to revive Olajuwon’s greatness.

He reminded us that a prolific scorer never forgets.

Team World ended up winning by a 101-97 score. Team Africa was led by GiannisAntetokounmpo’s 22 points and Luol Deng’s 20 points and coached by Gregg Popovich.

The growth of the NBA basketball has become even more intense in the past few years, especially with the Basketball Without Borders, an FIBA/NBA initiative.

And the NBA Africa came to Africa to stay.


August 6, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players 0 Comment

It’s Africans chasing the dream – Hakeem

Hakeem Olajuwon

Hakeem Olajuwon

NBA legend Hakeem Olajuwon believes the NBA Africa game provides a unique platform for African players to chase their basketball aspirations.

Olajuwon told that ’there’s truly tremendous talent in Africa and so it’s not a case of trying to create something that’s not there”

“It’s also an opportunity to inspire the Corporates in Africa come on board. This game is the foundation to make that push to the next level.”

“In the past 13 years, with the Basketball without Borders and other initiatives, it’s been all grassroots but this is it. Media coverage, hype, entertainment, sold-out crowd and global TV coverage. Nobody’s going to miss out.”

Hakeem calls on young players in Africa to seize the moment, adding that “it’s clear that they have something that generations before them do not have and a chance to make something out of it.

He also says education was key and advices them to look beyond just aspiring to play, pointing them to NBA Africa vice-president and managing director, Amadou Gallo Fall and Toronto Raptors president, MasaiUjiri, two great African Sons who have also achieved a lot in the NBA outside of playing in the NBA.

August 1, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players Tags:,
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NBA stars head camp for Africa’s youngsters

Leading up to the NBA’s first game in Africa next Saturday, NBA and FIBA players, legends and coaches will participate in the 13th edition of Basketball without Borders (BWB) Africa.

The NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program will take place July 29-August 1 at the American International School of Johannesburg in South Africa. NBA Africa Game 2015 will take place at Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg.

BWB Africa will gather the top 59 players from across Africa born in 1998 to learn from a select group of players from all backgrounds:

eight-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers; US),

two-time NBA All-Star Luol Deng (Miami Heat; born in South Sudan),

two-time NBA Champion Pau Gasol (Chicago Bulls; Spain),

two-time NBA All-Star Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies; Spain),

Al-FarouqAminu (Portland Trail Blazers; US; parents from Nigeria),

GiannisAntetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks; Greece; parents from Nigeria),

Nicolas Batum (Charlotte Hornets; France; parent from Cameroon),

Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards; US),

BismackBiyombo (Toronto Raptors; Democratic Republic of the Congo),

Trey Burke (Utah Jazz; US),

Boris Diaw (San Antonio Spurs; France; parent from Senegal),

GorguiDieng (Minnesota Timberwolves; Senegal),

Festus Ezeli (Golden State Warriors; Nigeria),

Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets; US),

Jeff Green (Memphis Grizzlies; US),

Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder; Congo),

Luc Mbah a Moute (most recently with the Philadelphia 76ers; Cameroon),

Nazr Mohammed (most recently with the Chicago Bulls; parents from Ghana),

Evan Turner (Boston Celtics; US)

Nikola Vucevic (Orlando Magic; Montenegro).

These NBA/FIBA players will be joined by NBA Global Ambassador DikembeMutombo (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and NBA Africa Ambassador Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria), as well as WNBA Legends Ebony Hoffman (US), Clarisse Machanguana (Mozambique) and Ruth Riley (US).


NBA/FIBA executives, coaches, and general managers will also participate, including NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, FIBA President HoracioMuratore, FIBA Africa President NiangHamane, FIBA Africa Executive Director Alphonse Bile, 2014-15 NBA Coach of the Year Mike Budenholzer of the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets Coach Lionel Hollins, Brooklyn Nets General Manager Billy King, San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich and Boston Celtics Coach Brad Stevens. San Antonio Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford and Toronto Raptors General Manager MasaiUjiri will be the camp directors.

Current and former NBA/FIBA assistant coaches and trainers who will participate include David Fizdale (Miami Heat), Patrick Hunt (President, World Association of Basketball Coaches), Ed Pinckney (Denver Nuggets), Patrick Mutombo, Eric Waters (Washington Wizards), Keon Weise (Orlando Magic), and Monty Williams (Oklahoma City Thunder).

In its 15th year overall, BWB will also feature an inaugural BWB Americas camp in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic August 13-16, while BWB Europe 2015 was held for the first time in Gran Canaria, Spain June 2-5.

As part of BWB and NBA Africa Game efforts, NBA Cares, the league’s global social responsibility program, and the NBPA Foundation will host a series of events to leave a lasting legacy in the community. With support from Ford, local youth will participate in a Jr. NBA clinic on Wednesday, July 29 at the American International School of Johannesburg. Also at the school, Hoops 4 Hope will conduct life skills sessions presented by South African Airways. NBA/FIBA players, coaches and legends will hold sessions on leadership and health and wellness for BWB campers throughout the week.

Members of the NBA/FIBA family will gather at the newly built Boys & Girls Club at Protea Glen on Thursday, July 30 for a basketball court dedication and clinic presented by NIKE.

Friday, July 31 will mark the third consecutive year that NBA/FIBA players will visit SOS Children’s Village Ennerdale, an organisation that builds families for orphaned and abandoned children. NBA Cares and the NBPA Foundation have undertaken their largest commitment to the village to date, working on a range of projects from the refurbishment of the local library to the construction of a new basketball court.

BWB campers will be outfitted with the latest footwear and apparel from NIKE, a BWB global partner since 2002.

Since 2001, BWB has reached more than 2 300 campers from more than 125 countries and territories, with 37 campers drafted into the NBA. Twenty-two former BWB campers were on NBA rosters during the 2014-15 regular season, including 2015 NBA All-Star and BWB Africa 2015 coach Marc Gasol.

The first BWB Global Camp gathered the best players from around the world during NBA All-Star 2015 in New York City. The second annual BWB Global Camp will be held during NBA All-Star 2016 in Toronto and will bring together the top players from this summer’s BWB camps.


LouaiAbdelbassatChebel, YoucefBoudoumi (both Algeria), Cristiano Cabral Xavier, JonatanJungo, Milton Bande Valente, KaeloTibe (all Botswana), Haled Ousmane Axel Kabore (Burkina Faso), Laurent Serge MatjeNguini, Jonathan TchamwaTchatchoua, Ghislain Landry BilongNyoung (all Cameroon), António Pedro Carvalho Junior (Cape Verde), KoyambaPrivat Da Saint Maxime (Central Africa Rep.), Fred AlexandreMouangassa (Congo), Dadou Ismael Traore (Congo/Mali), GedeonBuzanguKamba, Christian GbadaMabela, PapitoKalabu (All DRC), Florent Grace Thamba (DRC/South Africa), Omar Farag, Omar Hamed, ZeyadElmorsy, Omar Elsheikh, SeifeldinElsandily (All Egypt), OdolOmodAjaw (Ethiopia), YvanRembangouet (Gabon), DelaliCofie, SelasieTamakloe (both Ghana), ZambaCamara, Aisba Abdul ChardelGogua (both Ivory Coast), Trevor AmothWango (Kenya), Ibrahim Camara, MahamoudBalayira (both Mali), Abdelmajid El Madini, ImadLamouej (both Morocco), Igor BvunzaiFulaneEliseu (Mozambique), Sufyan Hassan Abdullahi, Lucky OraegbunamRomanus, Wisdom Christian Anyaoha, AzubuikeOluaEkuma, Awulu Stephen Edoka, KostandinosAntetokounmpo (all Nigeria), StephaneManziBigwi (Rwanda), Sidi Abdel HadySeydi, PapeAbdoulayeReymondDieng, Abdoul Aziz Ndao, MamadouMbengue, AmdyMoustaphaDieng, AbdloulayeTanorNgom (all Senegal), MthokozisiMasondo, Peace Famodimu, ThamsanqaNyawo (all South Africa) , MaditThienyDak (South Sudan), Regani Emmanuel Shirima (Tanzania), Mohamed Adam Rassil, WassefMathnani, Mohamed Abdel Kader Jannedi (all Tunisia), Mathew Samuel Ochieng (Uganda), NaluminoSimioti (Zambia), WatidaisheMukukula (Zimbabwe).

July 31, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players 0 Comment

Junior Hoops given tough group in U-16 Afro basket

Rwanda U16 Squad

Rwanda U16 Squad

Rwanda’s U-16 boys’ national team were handed a tough group in the at the FIBA Africa U-16 boys’ basketball championship which started Thursday in Bamako, Mali.

Rwanda was drawn in Group A along Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Algeria, Nigeria and Mali.

Group B is comprised of Angola, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Morocco, Tunisia and South Africa

Head Albert Buhakebelieves they will face a hard task trying to match their opponents. “We are not in an easy group; we are facing tough nations that have solid foundations in basketball, that only says a lot,”

“We have to be at our best and our first match against Mali on Thursday night will determine our overall participation in the whole tournament,”

Buhake added that Rwanda is determined to finish in the top four. We are looking forward to making our debut in the competition and the top four finish is our target,” Buhake said.

Rwanda qualified for the tournament after ousting Ethiopia in the FIBA Africa Zone V qualifiers held in Kigali on a 121-119 aggregate score over two games.

Rwanda squad:SanoGasana, Samuel Niyonshuti, Emile Galois Kaneza, Patrick Nshizirungu, Kenny Rubaduka, Gabriel AngeNtigurirwa, Davis Bagire, Arnaud Nkusi, EnockKisaKyeyune, Jesse NkusiNtihemuka, Gavin Mucyo, David HirwaMuvunyi.

July 31, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players 0 Comment

LeBron pleased but says Cavs have work to do

LeBron James

LeBron James

Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James says he wants to see the team stockpile more talent in the off-season to prepare for another run at an NBA title next season.

James spoke on Friday night at a screening of the new romantic comedy in which he plays himself, “Trainwreck” that was conducted in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

James, who signed his own new two-year contract worth $46 million with the Cavaliers on Friday, has seen the Cavs sign deals with forward Kevin Love, guard ImanShumpert and guard Mo Williams.

“It has been good so far, but we have a lot of work to do,” James said. “We definitely don’t want to come back the same team. We want to come back better. But right now, we’ve been doing so far, so good.”

The Cavaliers, who lost to Golden State in last month’s NBA Finals, are still looking to re-sign top rebounder Tristan Thompson and guards Matthew Dellavedova and J.R. Smith.

“We still got to re-sign Tristan,” James said. “Hopefully we can bring back J.R. as well and see if there are some other free agents out there that would love to come here and play if we’re able to do that.”

The Cavs are looking to add talent thanks to the non-guaranteed $10.5 million contract of Brendan Haywood, which many teams seek so they can potentially drop him and save that amount off their salary cap.

Cleveland had been talking with Brooklyn about Joe Johnson but with the Nets waiving Deron Williams, who appears set to sign a deal with Dallas, they are not as interested in letting Johnson leave.

The Cavaliers were reportedly talking with the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers in hopes of obtaining a reserve player who might help contribute next season.

James is a co-star in the film with Amy Schumer and Bill Hader. The movie opens across the United States next Friday. But don’t look for James to be giving up the NBA for Hollywood any time soon.

“I ain’tno movie star,” James said. “I know my day job.”


July 14, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players 0 Comment