Archive | Rookie Watch RSS feed for this section

DeMarcus Cousins Fined One Game’s Pay by Kings

14 Feb

The Sacramento Kings fined DeMarcus Cousins one game’s pay for his actions following a loss to Oklahoma City on Saturday, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

As first reported by FanHouse, the rookie forward exchanged swings with teammate Donte’ Greene in the locker room afterward before the two were separated. Cousins, according to sources, was angry at the last play in which Greene passed to Tyreke Evans for an eventual missed 3-pointer that would have won the game rather than pass to Cousins in the post. It was the byproduct of a bigger issue as well, as sources close to Cousins say his patience with the way in which Evans is handled by the team’s players and coaches has been tested for weeks.

Cousins will not be suspended, however, as the team announced on Monday that he is rejoining his teammates in Oklahoma City and will be available to play in Tuesday’s rematch against the Thunder. The fine — which amounts to a de facto one-game suspension — will cost Cousins approximately $41,000. The fifth pick of the June draft out of Kentucky was slated to earn approximately $3.3 million this season.

“There is no place in the NBA for violence, either on or off the court,” Kings President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie said in a statement. “Upon investigating the events of Saturday night, we feel it is necessary to impose an appropriate fine related to DeMarcus’ behavior. We will now move forward together. We do not intend to give up on DeMarcus’ talent or potential. We look forward to watching his continued improvement and development, which has been significant since the beginning of the season.”

Cousins released a statement as well.

“I wish to apologize to my teammates, the Kings organization and Kings’ fans for my role in an unfortunate altercation between teammates,” Cousins said. “I accept full responsibility for my actions and know that I must keep raising my standard of professionalism to be my best and a great player in the NBA.”
Continue reading →

Griffin’s highlight act draws retaliation

18 Jan

With each thundering dunk he’s thrown down and every rebound he’s violently snatched out of the air, Blake Griffin(notes) has won over a nation of fans who consider him one of the most exciting players to join the NBA in years. In three short months, the Los Angeles Clippers rookie has shown he’s well on his way to becoming one of the league’s stars.

In the process, Griffin also has become something else – a target for many opponents who have grown weary of his limitless energy and flyover act.

In the closing seconds of the Clippers’ victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, Lamar Odom(notes) grabbed Griffin by the jersey and tried to yank him off the court, igniting a brief scrum that led to the ejection of four players. Odom’s complaint: Blake was battling too hard for a rebound – or, in Odom’s words, delivering a “ram in the back” – in a game that had already been decided.

Griffin didn’t retaliate, throwing up his hands in defense and trying to back away from Odom. But his teammates – in particular, veteran point guard Baron Davis(notes) – have grown increasingly frustrated with the perceived “cheap shots” the young forward has been subject to from opponents. In an interview with Yahoo! Sports on Friday, Davis said it was time for the Clippers to start protecting Griffin. He made good on his vow, pushing Odom and jawing at the Lakers forward during the scrum.

The one thing Davis doesn’t want to happen is for the powerful Griffin to soften his game.
Continue reading →

I guess the only real question is “Who’s coming in second?”

8 Jan

Blake Griffin is clearly the Rookie of the Year. Who’s coming in second? Landry Fields or the oft injured John Wall? Side Note: Blake been quoted as saying he’s never lost a dunk contest… I think we’re in for a treat!

Cole Aldrich sent to the D-League AGAIN

30 Dec

Aldrich getting yammed on by fellow Rook Blake Griffin

by Chris McCoy

This is one of the weakest rookie classes in quite awhile… I just wanted to get that off my chest.

Anyways, around draft time, RJP CEO Karim Dixon and myself had a debate about Cole Aldrich. He thought he could be a decent player in this league. My opinion differed – dude’s not good. He’s a white Erick Dampier. Defensively he may be a force eventually (doubt it), but offensively he’s just not there yet.

Nothing makes me feel better than saying I told you so, lol.  Aldrich wasn’t at Wednesday’s Nets-Thunder clash because he’s on his way back to the D-League… again.

Aldrich was first sent to OKC’s D-League affiliate, the Tulsa 66ers, last month, as there weren’t enough minutes to go around – he’d only played 48 minutes over five games total.

The D-League is an excellent way for players to get considerable more run and seasoning, but players are only allowed three D-League stints a year. Aldrich is already on his second stint. It might just make more sense for them to leave him down there for awhile. He’s only seen 55 minutes of action and is averaging under eight minutes a game when he does play. He’s basically a seat warmer at this point. Let him get some work in at the D-League level. This is your 11th overall draft pick Oklahoma City. If you think he’s going to be any good (which for the record again I don’t), leave him there until after the All-Star Break.

Rookie of the Year Check-In

28 Dec

Top three candidates for Rookie of the Year Award

Blake Griffin is clearly the front runner at the moment. The only other two players to average 21 and 12 in their rookie seasons? Shaq and the Admiral David Robinson… Pretty good company Blake! John wall is healthy and back playing, though, so the race isn’t over! We still have 50 games to go… Stay posted.

-Chris McCoy

Udoh set for his NBA debut tonight against Heat

10 Dec

Udoh hugging the commish on draft night

Rookie forward Ekpe Udoh will make his NBA debut tonight against Miami, a month earlier than expected after surgery on his left wrist.

“I’m ready to go,” Udoh said Thursday. “Yes, sir. I’ve been working hard. If I get the opportunity, if my name is called, I’m going to give it my all.”

Udoh, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft, had surgery July 14 to repair a torn ligament in his wrist. According to the Warriors, Udoh suffered the injury a day earlier in a pre-summer league workout at the team’s practice facility. He was expected to be out six months, which put his return in mid-January. But Udoh said he’s a quick healer, and he and strength and conditioning coach Mark Grabow have been “getting it in” to shave a month off the expected rehabilitation schedule.

“I just want to get out there,” said Udoh, a 6-foot-10 defensive type from Baylor. “I haven’t played since the Duke game (in the NCAA tournament).”
Continue reading →

Blake Griffin: Man on Fire!!

26 Nov

By Amar Madyun

Being a Los Angeles Clippers fan has it’s ups and downs (mostly downs).  The Clippers have been a punch-line of the NBA for many years, but that looks to be coming to a screeching halt in the very near future.  Yes the Clippers record is one of the worst in the NBA, but there is hope again for the Staples Center’s “other” team.

That hope rests on the young electrifying rookie Blake Griffin.  He has generated a lot of buzz for a team that has had a legacy of being awful for years.  People are actually showing up to Clippers game, not expecting a win, but a dazzling show of power and athleticism.  If you’ve ever seen him play, you’d know why there is so much excitement for the future of the franchise.

After a year of spectating during his rookie year (due to a preseason injury), Blake Griffin has set the NBA ablaze ever since he made his first bucket, which was a monster “I’m here now” dunk that has been a recurring theme night in and night out.  He’s averaging 19.3 pts and 11.3 reb a game while shooting over 50% from the field.  He still has to work on his free throws (57%) and his defense, but he’s a rookie and should only get a better all around game as he progresses.

The sky is the limit for the former Oklahoma star, and if the Clippers can add a few key pieces to the team, people will finally acknowledge and respect that there are actually 2 teams who call the Staples Center home.