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Tag:Renaldo Balkman
Posted on: September 6, 2011 2:24 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2011 12:09 pm
 

NBA Lockout Indiscretion Power Rankings

Posted by Ben Golliver

walker-critt-marbury

With Labor Day in the rearview and another collective bargaining agreement negotiating session on the slate for Wednesday, the NBA has turned a corner. The long, hot lockout summer is kaput.

Thanks to a relatively weak 2011 NBA Draft and without Summer League or a free agency signing period, this summer was mundane compared to the average NBA summer and a major letdown from the hysterical Summer of 2010. Without player movement and roster restructuring to dominate the headlines, our collective attention turned to empty and half-hearted labor rhetoric, planking, tattoos, sponsor trips to Asia, and street ball games.

And one other thing: player indiscretions, both on and off the court. For years, player conduct has been a hot button issue for the league. With that in mind, we present the authors of the top-10 indiscretions of the 2011 NBA lockout.

Top-10

10. Derek Anderson: Alleged financier of major cocaine operation

The temptation was to leave Anderson, a former guard for a number of NBA teams, including the 2006 NBA Champion Miami Heat, off of this list because of the sketchy nature of his accuser. Ultimately, the scope of the charges leveled against him simply cannot be ignored. In August, convicted killer Francois Cunningham alleged that Anderson bankrolled a major cocaine operation in Louisville, KY. Anderson maintained his innocence, through an attorney, and police have not yet charged him with a crime. Coincidentally, Anderson says on his website that he has a television series in production that is set in Georgia and based off of “The Wire.” Hopefully Anderson won’t be the next Snoop.

9. Latrell Sprewell: Millions owed in back taxes

Sure, failing to pay your taxes is kind of a boring transgression. Either the IRS or the state department of revenue is the aggrieved party and it’s hard for the average person to feel much sympathy for them. The best way to spice it up, though, is to owe so much that you actually lead your state in delinquency. That doesn’t happen every day, but former NBA guard Latrell Sprewell, best known for choking Golden State Warriors coach P.J. Carlesimo and for saying that he needed to ”feed his family” when he turned down a $20 million + contract offer from the Minnesota Timberwolves, finds himself in that exact situation. The state of Wisconsin published a top-100 list of delinquent taxpayers and Sprewell, a Wisconsin native who also played for the Milwaukee Bucks, holds the very top spot, owing the state more than $3 million.

8. Stephon Marbury: Millions owed to bank over failed sneaker company

I know what you’re thinking: the only thing more boring than owing millions in state taxes is owing millions to a bank. Fair point. That would apply in most cases, but former NBA guard Stephon Marbury is, quite obviously, not most cases. The man who got a tattoo on the side of his head and once ate Vaseline on a live internet stream famously launched an eponymous line of discount sneakers back in 2006. His main retail partner went under, the sneakers drew complaints about quality after some initial positive buzz and now Marbury, currently playing professionally in China, is staring at a $16 million loan that needs to be paid back. Anyone know the specifics of Chinese extradition laws?

7. Kendrick Perkins: Arrested after bar brawl in Texas

When this story first broke, it seemed like absolute chaos. When the dust settled it looked far more routine. Perkins, center for the Oklahoma City Thunder, was home in Texas conducting a children’s basketball camp when he decided to go out for a night on the town. That night ended with him behind bars on charges of disorderly conduct and public intoxication after he allegedly attempted to fight the club’s manager. Perkins looks like he is posing for an angry mug shot regardless of what is happening around him so we can assume he was prepared for the incident’s legal aftermath. Through an attorney he has maintained that he is innocent of the charges and that he wasn’t drunk. Still, that was too little, too late, at least by the Thunder’s standards, as the first truly bad headline including the OKC Boy Scouts had been written. Assuming nothing else happens, it will likely be a blip on the radar.

6. Michael Beasley: Marijuana bust and shoving incident with fan

Beasley has the unique honor of being the only active player on this list with multiple indiscretions to his name this summer. The fun began with a relatively routine marijuana bust in July, when Beasley was allegedly caught with marijuana in his car while driving nearly 20 miles over the speed limit. Of course, the circumstances were a bit more serious given that Beasley had previously entered rehab and pledged to his new boss, Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn, that he would remain drug-free. Weeks later, Beasley lost his cool during an exhibition game in New York City, shoving a courtside fan in the face after a back-and-forth trash-talking session. The 28 GMs who didn’t bite when the Miami Heat gave him away for nothing last summer all feel vindicated.

5. Zach Randolph: Drug dealer allegedly assaulted at his home

Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph is the highest-profile current player to find himself in a messy situation this summer. That comes as no surprise to those who have watched his career unfold, as sketchy friends, drug allegations, late-night beatings and the like have seemed to follow him at every stop. In the latest installment, an Oregon drug dealer alleges that Randolph “snatched” his marijuana from him and refused to pay, then watched as Randolph’s friends beat him so badly with pool cues that he had to be hospitalized. Any time your police report reads like a game of Clue– “Associates in the living room with a pool cue” – that’s a really bad sign. Will Randoph ever get a clue? Probably not, and it hasn’t cost him yet, as he just signed a super-rich contract extension with the Grizzlies.

4. Darius Miles: Airport gun incident

Miles, a former teammate of Randolph’s on the so-called “Jail Blazers,” was arrested in the most perplexing and depressing of circumstances. Knee injuries robbed Miles of what should have been the second half of his NBA career and, at 29, he hasn’t touched an NBA court since the 2008-2009 season. In early August, Miles was taken into custody after allegedly trying to take a loaded gun through airport security at St. Louis’ Lambert Airport. That sentence prompts so many questions that it is difficult to know where to begin. Why did he need a gun? Was it for personal protection or image? How could he possibly have thought he would make it through security? If you carry a gun with you for long enough, can you forget you have it with you? And, perhaps most importantly: Is the Darius Miles Story doomed to reach an unhappy ending?

3. Jay Vincent: Jailed on fraud charges

Vincent, childhood friend and former teammate of Magic Johnson at Michigan State and with the Los Angeles Lakers, racked up 413 career steals during a nine-year NBA career. In the twenty years since he retired, Vincent has racked up thousands more. A Michigan court sentenced Vincent to more than five years in jail for his role in an online scam that bilked roughly $1 million out of 20,000 people. During the trial proceedings, Vincent was caught in another alleged scam in which he placed ads for a fake basketball team, charging prospective players a fee for a tryout that never materialized. Not even a plea from Johnson himself could save Vincent from doing hard time.

2. Samaki Walker: Arrested for marijuana and illegal steroid possession

The scope of Walker’s alleged crimes isn’t as grave as many of the others on this list, but it’s certainly the most humorous. Was there a better headline anywhere over the last few months than “Samaki Walker eats marijuana during arrest”? I doubt it. Walker, former Dallas Mavericks lottery pick and member of the 2002 NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers, was pulled over by police in Arizona and allegedly had 10 grams of marijuana and liquid steroids in his car. His plan to avoid suspicion was simple: make the marijuana disappear from sight by ingesting it. That’s one of those ideas that is either so brilliant it’s stupid or so stupid it’s brilliant. Either way, it didn’t work. At 35, his professional basketball career is winding down, and he claimed he was using the steroids because they were legal in Syria, where he most recently played. Once it’s time to retire, Walker will surely be able to find work playing himself if they ever make a “Dude, where’s my car” sequel.

1. Javaris Crittenton: Charged with murder

This list ends on a terribly tragic note. Crittenton, a former NBA guard best known for his 2009 locker room dispute over a card game with former Washington Wizards teammate Gilbert Arenas that involved guns and saw both players suspended for the season, has been charged with murdering a mother of four in his native Georgia. Police say Crittenton fired at the woman in retaliation for an April robbery in which two men took more than $50,000 worth of jewelry from him at gunpoint outside a barber shop. Crittenton is innocent until proven guilty, but his life will never be the same. And, of course, the life of the victim in the alleged murder, Jullian Jones, has been lost forever.

Dishonorable Mention

Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum was allegedly caught parking in a handicapped parking space at a grocery store, despite the presence of many unused, normal parking spots just yards away. The act could have subjected him to a minor fine. This one wasn’t really criminal, but it was criminally immature and insensitive.

Future Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal has found himself in the middle of so many bizarre lawsuits this summer – allegations of wiretapping, hiring hit men, ordering murders, kidnapping, sex tapes, you name it – that it’s impossible to place him on this list.

Missed child support payments are, sadly, a common problem for former professional athletes, but Fab 5 member and former guard for the Toronto Raptors and Denver Nuggets Jimmy King put a twist on the situation, finding himself arrested at church by Michigan police. At church? Is nothing sacred!

Los Angeles Lakers forward Matt Barnes punched an opponent during a Bay Area pro-am game and New York Knicks forward Renaldo Balkman headbutted Memphis Grizzlies guard Greivis Vasquez during a FIBA Americas game. Both incidents didn’t quite seem serious enough to crack the top-10.


Posted on: September 5, 2011 11:41 pm
Edited on: September 5, 2011 11:55 pm
 

Knicks F Renaldo Balkman headbutts opponent

Posted by Ben Golliverrenaldo-balkman-1

New York Knicks forward Renaldo Balkman, representing Puerto Rico, headbutted Memphis Grizzlies guard Greivis Vasquez, representing Venezuela, during a Monday game at the FIBA Americas tournament in Argentina.

The act was retaliation for a hard foul and led to an extended skirmish, requiring Puerto Rico's coach Flor Melendez to intervene and calm down Balkman, before the player was ejected. The foul occurred with 5:37 remaining and Puerto Rico leading, 85-62.

The exchange began with Balkman driving the ball towards the rim with Vasquez defending him from behind. Balkman turned the corner and there was no help defense on teh weakside, so Vasquez slapped down across Balkman's arm to prevent the lay-up. Balkman reacted immediately, turning to confront Vasquez, who had raised his arm to signal that the foul was his, and then lowered his head -- headband, dreadlocks and all -- into Vasquez's cheek, making clear contact. The action did not provoke a response from Vasquez but did lead his teammates to shove Balkman to the ground, and referees and coaching staff members entered the fray to separate the combatants. 

Balkman's act was not the first bit of on-court violence from an NBA player this summer. Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley pushed a fan in the face during an exhibition game in New York City and Los Angeles Lakers forward Matt Barnes punched an opponent during a pro-am game in the Bay Area.

Puerto Rico held on to beat Venezuela, 94-82, and is scheduled to face Canada on Tuesday. Because of the headbutt, Balkman has been suspended for that game according to FIBAAmericas.com.

Here's the video of Renaldo Balkman headbutting Greivis Vasquez during a FIBA Americas game in Argentina courtesy of YouTube user dewel2011



Top image via the video.

Hat tip: SportingNews.com.
Posted on: February 22, 2011 2:18 am
Edited on: February 22, 2011 2:31 am
 

Melo Trade: Denver stumbles into good NY deal

The Nuggets flirted with danger but wound up trading Melo for a good set of assets. The Melo era is over in Denver. 
Posted by Matt Moore

This was not the best run trade negotiation period in history.  The Nuggets repeatedly pushed for too much, and then when they somehow miraculously got offered that much, they pushed again. Masai Ujiri played Russian Roullette with this trade but in the end, it wasn't Carmelo Anthony, or Donnie Walsh, or Leon Rose, who hit the Magic chamber. It was Isiah Thomas loading it six chambers full. As usual. 

The Denver Nuggets now have a completely different team than the one they entered the All-Star break with.  The odds of the roster as it stands currently being the one after the trade deadline are also very low. The Nuggets are currently in-between transitions, able to compete for the playoffs but with no true star, they're likely stumped once the first round hits. They have their point guard of the future (Ty Lawson) and now Raymond Felton complicates that. They have talented combination forwards, and just added more. They have aging veterans and now have young pieces. They're probably going to make the playoffs but probably won't get very far. They're rebuilding but trying to win now. They're in two very different places at the same time. 

But really, this was the best circumstance they could have hoped for once their last ditch effort to get Mikhail Prokhorov to convince Anthony to come to the Nets was proven to be what we always knew it would be: a fantasy. Yes, getting Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, Troy Murphy's expiring and four first-rounders would have been ideal, but it simply wasn't to be with Anthony holding all the cards.  Somewhere, in the back of Denver's mind was the image of the Cavaliers walking off the floor after losing that 25th game. So it was the Knicks, as we knew all along it would be, really. And for it being the Knicks? They got a whale of a deal. They walked off with four players who have started at some point for the Knicks, including their quality free agent point guard, the young super-long shooter, and the high-upside foreign center prospect. They nab a first rounder down the line, multiple second-round picks, and clear a bunch of cap space, especially if they decide to move some of the other pieces. 

We could have had this over months ago, but Masai Ujiri walks out a winner with this. He landed a good set of assets, draft picks, and cap space to move forward while also not crippling his roster out of a playoff spot. This is a win-win-lose for Ujiri. He got a significant amount of assets without being forced to commit to an immediate tanking scheme, but he still lost a superstar. 

And that's the big thing to remember here. If Carmelo Anthony were to have a crisis of conscience, call up Ujiri, and say "I want to stay. I'll sign the extension," Melo would still be in uniform tomorrow for the Nuggets like he said he would be. Because four good players an a pick is great, but you'll always take the All-Star. That's why they're All-Stars. 

But beyond that, this was their All-Star. Thats what will get lost in all this. Tomorrow thousands of kids with Melo jerseys will wake up in Denver owning throwbacks. Fans have lost their guy. The All-Star. The crown jewel. The sports hero. He was drafted there. When Joe Dumars looked over him, Denver committed to him. They put pieces in place to help him win a championship, and now they have a B- point guard, an Italian shooter, an expiring wing, and a Russian big to try and fill that whole. They can't have the title contention and rebuild. Not how it works in this league. 

So the Nuggets will have decisions to make once this season is over. Blow it up completely? Try and land anothers superstar? Commit to Lawson-Afflalo-Gallo? What do they do with Nene? These are all things that will have to be answered between now and Thursday, and then this summer under a new CBA. But for an impossible situation with very little hope, and against a formidable trade partner across the table, the Nuggets have walked away with some dignity, some value, and some hope. It's finally over. Carmelo Anthony has been traded, and the franchise isn't in ruins.

"Thank God for Isiah Thomas" should be on a billboard outside the Pepsi Center. 
Posted on: February 17, 2011 8:29 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2011 8:34 pm
 

Report: Nets in advanced talks for Melo... again.

Conflicting reports surface regarding possible revived Nets-Nuggets talks for Carmelo Anthony.
Posted by Matt Moore

I could have swore we were just here. Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the New Jersey Nets are in "advanced talks" in a huge nine-player, four-pick deal that would shake out as the following: 

New Jersey Nets receive: 

Carmelo Anthony
Chauncey Billups
Renaldo Balkman
Melvin Ely
Shelden Williams.

Denver Nuggets receive:

Derrick Favors
Devin Harris
Troy Murphy
Ben Uzoh
And... four first-round picks.

That is an absurd lump of assets for one player, and if true, shows just how desperate the Nets are to contend immediately. They're giving up Derrick Favors and Harris, along with the expiring contract of Troy Murphy, basically to get Melo and Billups. And that's before you factor in giving up 4 first-rounders. Those picks are likely spread out over the 2011 through 2014 draft (the Nets own the Warriors 2011 pick, lottery protected, as well as their 2012, and the Rockets' 2012 picks), but that's a massive amount of first-rounders to surrender, even for an All-Star, before we look at the value of Harris and Favors. 

However, a spokesperson for Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov Thursday reasserted to the AP that the owner "has not changed his mind" since cutting off talks with the Nuggets over the last deal when the Nets were asking for three first-rounders.  ESPN reported Thursday that the Nets had entered into talks again, and that it was Prokhorov's insistence that the Nets be the ones to open the dialogue again. 

So either Prokhorov's spokesperson is lying or not up to speed, and Prokhorov decided it was fine to deal with Denver if they opened talks, even if it meant talking about an even higher price tag than the last one Prokhorov walked away from, or the Nuggets are trying to apply pressure on New York by fabricating talks with the New Jersey Nets. 

So this is fun. 

Expect things to continue on this track through the weekend and possibly all the way to the deadline. The Melo story has just hit a whole other gear of crazy. 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com