UNC Juniors Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellignton declare their intentions to make themselves eligible for the NBA draft. (Staff video by Travis Long)
Freshman forward Al-Farouq Aminu, widely expected to enter the NBA Draft in June, will return for his sophomore season at Wake Forest, the school's sports information office has announced.
"My family and I feel like now is not the right time," Aminu said in a statement released by Wake.
MIAMI — One small positive note for Wake Forest in the wake of its shocking 84-69 loss to Cleveland State Friday night in the NCAA tourney's first round: head coach Dino Gaudio said early Saturday that he believed Wake would not lose any underclassmen to the NBA this season.
The Charlotte Bobcats' TV ratings are still among the lowest in the NBA, and they're not helped by the limited number of games being shown live in the Raleigh-Durham market.
The Marquee Wakefield 12 is showing TNT's coverage of NBA All-Star Saturday Night in 3-D, starting at 8 p.m. Saturday, with tickets priced at $20 apiece. Last month, the Raleigh theater showed Florida's BCS title game victory over Oklahoma in 3-D — the first major sporting event available to the public in 3-D — but the NBA show might be able to make better use of 3-D by allowing the cameras closer to the action. The events include the slam dunk contest, the skills challenge and the 3-point shootout.
Former Duke point guard Jason Williams, whose NBA career was cut short by injuries, discusses coming to terms with the end of his playing career, what it was like to be second-guessed by so many people, the learning curve of J.J. Redick and why he goes by either "Jason" or "Jay".
The NBA had the sports stage pretty much to itself on Christmas Day and put its best foot forward with a dramatic rematch of last year's finals. Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers ended the 19-game winning streak of Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics, 92-83.
The result: the league's highest regular-season rating in four years.
The Boston-L.A. game on ABC earned a 5.3 household rating, 51 percent higher than the 3.5 of last year's late Christmas game on ABC between the Phoenix Suns and the Lakers, and delivered a 65 percent larger audience (9,960,378 viewers vs. 5,984,539).
The early game on ABC between the San Antonio Spurs and the Suns earned a 3.2 household rating, up from 3.1 for last year's early Christmas game on ABC, Miami vs. Cleveland, and a 15 percent larger audience (5,757,393 viewers vs. 5,020,417). Roger Mason hit a three-point shot at the buzzer for the Spurs to beat the Suns, 91-90.
Former Duke forward Shavlik Randolph, now with the NBA's Portland Trailblazers, talks about his inactive role in his fourth pro season, his recovery from a horrific ankle injury and how he sees his future in the NBA.
Saw ABC/ESPN's Christmas Day NBA tripleheader lineup — New Orleans-Orlando (noon, ESPN), San Antonio-Phoenix (2:30 p.m., ABC), Boston-Los Angeles Lakers (5 p.m., ABC) — and got to thinking the New York Knicks haven't been televised nationally, it seems, since Phil Jackson played.
True, the Knicks have been horrible the past few years. but it's hard to believe that the team from the nation's No. 1 television market didn't warrant at least one slot on the 2008-09 regular-season schedule of live games carried by ABC, ESPN, TNT or TBS.
According to the NBA "map" the networks drew up for this season, the Eastern Conference is essentially made up of two teams, the Boston Celtics and LeBron Jameses; the Washington Wizards are actually relevant; New York doesn't exist; and Phoenix is the center of the universe.
The Knicks are one of five teams that aren't scheduled to be on national TV this season; the others are the Charlotte Bobcats, Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings. Yet, the Wizards are somehow managing to make 11 appearances, though the schedules are subject to change.
Even Memphis, Oklahoma City and Milwaukee are being shown once each.
The Knicks, sitting at a semi-respectable 11-14 (the Wizards are 4-19), are considerably more competitive with new coach Mike D'Antoni's high-scoring offensive philosophy. The team D'Antoni left, the Phoenix Suns, are on national TV a league-high 26 times. (Teams from the stronger Western Conference are scheduled to be televised 166 times versus the Eastern Conference's 115.)
Here are the top teams, based on scheduled national telecasts:*
L.A. Lakers 25
San Antonio 18
*ABC's March 22 game hasn't been determined — it's listed as either Houston-San Antonio or Miami-Detroit — and was not counted.
ESPN will swap its NBA and college basketball announcing teams for a college-pro doubleheader Jan. 7. NBA play-by-play man Mike Tirico and analysts Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy will call Davidson at Duke at 7 p.m., followed by Dan Shulman and Dick Vitale providing commentary when the Denver Nuggets host the Miami Heat at 9 p.m.