NBA Notebook: Cavs get first taste of defeat
Published 12:00 am Friday, May 22, 2009
The NBA notebook …
CLEVELAND ó The 24-second shot clock has been fixed. The Cleveland Cavaliers are next on the repairs-to-do list.
The Orlando Magic caused some collateral damage with their stunning win in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.
They exposed Cleveland’s depth, shredded its defense, snatched home-court advantage and put the NBA’s top-seeded team in an unfamiliar position ó behind in a series and desperate for a win heading into Game 2 tonight.
“We’re looking at it as a must win,” MVP LeBron James said before practice on Thursday.
“It’s obvious,” Cavs guard Mo Williams said, echoing the must-win sentiment. “My grandma knows that. Yeah, it’s a must win. Hell yeah.”
WASHINGTON ó Sam Cassell, who won three NBA titles in a 15-season career, announced his retirement as a player Thursday and immediately joined the coaching staff of the Washington Wizards.
Cassell and Randy Wittman, the former head coach of Cleveland and Minnesota, were hired as assistants to new Wizards coach Flip Saunders.
“After 15 seasons playing in this league, I have accomplished all that I have dreamed of as a player,” Cassell said. “Now the time has come for to me to take my love for the game to the coaching ranks and pass on what I’ve learned. This team is loaded with talent, and it’s a great way for me to start my coaching career.”
Cassell played in 993 regular season games for eight teams, averaging 15.7 points and 6.0 assists.
TULSA, Okla. ó With his casket carried in a horse-drawn carriage, Wayman Tisdale was remembered Thursday as a basketball star and gifted musician by thousands of mourners swaying to gospel tunes.
The body of the former Oklahoma All-American traveled three miles from the funeral home to the downtown arena.
About 4,000 people, including former NBA players, pop musicians and former coaches, attended the memorial. There was live jazz music, clapping and shouting in honor of the man who died last week at 44 after a long battle with cancer.
HARTFORD, Conn. ó Detroit Pistons basketball star Richard Hamilton has filed a federal lawsuit accusing his former business manager, already at the center of recruiting allegations at the University of Connecticut, of stealing about $1 million from him.
The lawsuit was filed Monday in U.S. District court in eastern Pennsylvania against 34-year-old Josh Nochimson of Glenview, Ill. It accuses Nochimson of using Hamilton’s credit card to buy airline flights, game tickets and other items.
DEERFIELD, Ill. ó Re-signing guard Ben Gordon will be the top priority of new Chicago Bulls general manager Gar Forman heading into the offseason.
Gordon, who becomes a free agent on July 1, played a key role in the Bulls’ impressive performance against the defending NBA champion Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. The Celtics won the seven-game series that featured four overtime games.
MINNEAPOLIS ó The Minnesota Timberwolves hired former Indiana Pacers executive David Kahn to run their basketball operations, four days after being rejected by Portland assistant general manager Tom Penn.