2002-2003 SEASON STATISTICS
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
64 8.3 2.3 2.6 .369 .766
Well, maybe we should qualify the "impressive" remark. LeBron James scored 25 points, grabbed nine boards, had five assists and two blocked shots in just 29 minutes of play. His only real problem, again, was defense. He gave up big-time points to whomever he guarded -- Marcus Banks (10 points), J.R. Bremer (28 points) and Kederick Brown (16 points). Still, coach Paul Silas claimed LeBron's defense "wasn't that bad. We just need to play better team defense. I'm not saying everyone's perfect; you can always play better defense, but Lebron's coming along."
The Bucks look like they have three stars in the making in the summer league. Dan Gadzuric, coming off a dominant performance at the Orlando Pro Summer League, followed up with a nice 17-point, 8-rebound, 3-block game against the Knicks. Gadzuric looks like a different player from the one who showed up here last year. If he can play even remotely like that during the season, the Bucks have found their center. Marcus Haislip also was awesome, chipping in 19 points, six boards and four blocked shots. T.J. Ford also seems to be settling into a rhythm. After a shaky start in Orlando, his last couple of games have been very solid. He scored 16 points, handed out eight assists and only turned the ball over three times. The only knock was that the bigger Frank Williams torched Ford for 23 points.
The best point guard battle of the day featured Zoran Planinic and John Salmons. Planinic, the Nets' first-round pick, and Salmon, the Sixers' first rounder last year, both were great in the open floor. Both players are "super-sized" to play the point guard position, and both proved Monday that they were capable of handling it. Salmons ended with 29 points, 6 assists and just one turnover. Planinic had 12 points, 7 assists and four turnovers.
Speaking of the Sixers, it was nice to see Sam Clancy back doing his thing after missing the season last year with a torn ACL. Clancy has 17 points on 7-for-11 shooting and grabbed 7 boards. While he still looked a little out of shape, Clancy proved he can be force to reckon with in the paint.
French league MVP Boris Diaw lived up to expectations Monday. He dished out six assists, grabbed five boards, played great defense and took just three shots from the field. Still Diaw was proud of the three shots he took. "Over here, coach lets you shoot the shot if you're open, I like that." OK, so what's the gameplan in France then? "You dribble, dribble, pass until the end ... there's always a better shot." That explains how Diaw won the MVP award averaging just 7 points.
Out in Los Angeles, the Nuggets finally are starting to see some production from second year forward Nikoloz Tskitishvili
. Skita is reportedly up to 240 pounds and has really refined his game in the paint. Monday night he scored 22 points on 8-for-19 shooting. He also grabbed eight rebounds. Rodney White also has been playing well. White had 21 points on 8-for-12 shooting, his second straight 20-point game in the summer league.
By Terry Brown
Tuesday, July 15
Washington Wizards: Jerry Stackhouse
's recent family vacation began with T-shirts that read: "Stackhouses and Dawsons, a family that prays together stays together," included large barbeque grills, perhaps as many as 150 people and even a minister. But it ended with Patricia Nagy, who worked for the leasing company managing the beach home, filing assault charges against the Wizard guard for allegedly grabbing her arm. "We could hear people talking and laughing but we were amazed that so many people were so well behaved," neighbor Brantley Peck said to the Washington Post. "There was no trouble whatsoever. On Sunday morning, they had a minister give a service in the tent. The whole weekend, they were very respectful of their neighbors." The incident arouse after Nagy told Stackhouse that he had overstayed his lease agreement and that another family was waiting to use the guest property. "We were miserable last night," John Henicheck, the next guest, said. "When you've been planning a vacation for a year and then something like this happens. . . . I didn't want him to put us up. I wanted to start my vacation. I can't find words to describe what he did to us." Misdemeanor assault charges are pending.
New Jersey Nets: In case you were wondering, there is one reason why Alonzo Mourning decided to join the Nets. "Jason wants to win. He's smelled it already, being there [the Finals] twice," said Mourning to the N.Y. Post. "I don't know a player in this league that doesn't want to play with Jason Kidd. If you ask anybody in this league, he's the best point guard in the game right now. So, ever since I've been in this league, I've played with good point guards." Okay, maybe two reasons. "I feel pretty good about our chances, but I can't predict the future. I do know this: We've got a hell of an opportunity," Mourning said. "The 12th hour was tough for me. I was faced with really seriously trying to make a decision and it was between the East and the West. And I think all of you know or have an idea of what that Western Conference team was. It was tough. Ultimately, it came down to Jason Kidd, it came down to Byron Scott [being an] extension of Pat Riley."
Los Angeles Lakers: An unnamed source is now claiming to the Vail Daily to have the real story concerning Kobe Bryant and the 19-year-old alleged victim of sexual assault. There was no disturbance in the room, the source says. Hotel security was not summoned and the victim did not hysterically from the room, reports the paper. However, there is an abundance of evidence, says the source, against Bryant. "Every test that could be done was worth it," the source said. Bryant has maintained his innocense throughout the case and has yet to have charges brought against him.
Sacramento Kings: Chris Webber lied, has just admitted to lying and, well, "I'm relieved it's finally over," Webber told the Detroit News. "I'll always love the University of Michigan." Webber pleaded guilty to criminal contempt on Monday and, in so doing, will avoid jail time in a case involving his Michigan Wolverine basketball team and illegal monies given to him and other members of the team. "Both sides obviously saw that it was better to come to a resolution than to roll the dice on a trial," Steve Fishman, Webber's attorney, said. The case revolved around Michigan booster Eddie Martin. Gregory Lord, an attorney, said: "Eddie had the best of intentions. He was a one-man equal opportunity office," Lord said. "If you were getting drafted or announcing your college choice and you needed a suit, Eddie would help you." A total of 15 people have now pleaded guilty in the case.
Houston Rockets: Patrick Ewing was called a warrior during his playing days and it looks like now that he is a coach, very little has changed. "The thing about Pat, even at the end of his career, he never lost the love, the passion for being in the gym, being in the weight room, or the travel," said assistant coach Tom Thibodeau to the Houston Chronicle. "He loves all the aspects. We found out he loves to watch film. He loves the teaching. Patrick is very prideful. If he is going to do it, he'll do it very well. When Pat commits to something, he commits." Ewing put it a little bit differently. "I have to do something. I just can't sit at home or play golf 24/7," he said. "It's great to wake up and have something to do and still be around the game and do something I love."
Portland Trail Blazers: Former Philadelphia Sixer general manager John Nosh is expected to be named the new Portland Blazer GM as early as Wednesday, says the Philadelphia Daily News. Nash, who has been working as an analyst, has denied comment on the rumor.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Cavs coach Paul Silas knows LeBron James missed the final three games in the Orlando Summer League and he knows why, too. "We were not going to play these guys in five straight ballgames," Silas said to the Plain Dealer "So he probably wouldn't have played some of the games anyway. It wasn't a distraction [in Orlando]. Other guys got a chance to play. It really doesn't become that much of a distraction. The players are used to it now. They know what to expect. And he handles it so well. If he were walking around with his head in the air, it might be different. But he's not that type of kid. That's what makes it all work." James will attend a wedding and a few awards banquets, instead.