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FRIDAY MELANGE
Posted by John Schuhmann on September 16, 2005 11:15 a.m. ET

RELIEF EFFORTS CONTINUE

News of continuing relief efforts for the victims of Hurricane Katrina by players and teams continue to pour in. Keep an eye on the hurricane relief index for all of the latest news and information on how you can help in your area.

It seems that the Hornets could play at least some games in Oklahoma City this season. The league is expected to make an announcement next week. I'd imagine they would like to play as many games as possible in Louisiana.
-- [ESPN]

BROOKLYN BOUND

In other arena news, the Nets took another step towards Brooklyn on Wednesday, as the MTA approved the sale of the land where owner Bruce Ratner wants to build his mini-city. There are still a couple of more hurdles to get through, but things are looking pretty good for a Nets move by the '08-09 season.
-- [Newark Star-Ledger]

LADIES NIGHT

Two great games to start off the WNBA Finals in Uncasville. This series couldn't be any more intense or tighly contested. We should be in for a great weekend of basketball in Sacramento.

NBA STARS ABROAD

Eurobasket 2005 tips off today, and there are several big name NBA players representing their countries. Dirk Nowitzki, Andrei Kirilenko, Tony Parker, Nenad Krsticand Vladimir Radmanovic are just some of the names that will be taking part.

Despite struggling in last year's Olympics, hosts Serbia & Montenegro should be the favorites. France, Greece and Croatia should also be strong, Germany will go as far as Nowitzki can carry them, and Spain may have a tough time without injured Pau Gasol. The top six teams in the tournament qualify for next year's World Championships in Japan.

Here's the full list of NBA players and draftees on Eurobasket rosters:

Croatia: Gordan Giricek (Jazz), Mario Kasun (Magic), Zoran Planinic (Nets), Roko-Leni Ukic (2005 Draft-Raptors)

France: Boris Diaw (Suns), Tony Parker (Spurs), Mickael Pietrus (Warriors), Mickael Gelabale (2005 Draft-Sonics)

Germany: Dirk Nowitzki (Mavericks)

Greece: Andreas Glyniadakis (Draft rights held by Pistons), Vassilis Spanoulis (Draft rights held by Rockets)

Lithuania: Martynas Andriuskevicius (2005 Draft-Cavaliers), Linas Kleiza (2005 Draft-Nuggets), Robertas Javtokas (Draft rights held by Spurs)

Russia: Andrei Kirilenko (Jazz), Viktor Khryapa (Blazers), Sergei Monia (Blazers)

Serbia & Montenegro: Marko Jaric (Timberwolves), Nenad Krstic (Nets), Darko Milicic (Pistons), Vladimir Radmanovic (Sonics RFA), Zeljko Rebraca (Clippers), Dejan Bodiroga (Draft rights held by Kings)

Slovenia: Primoz Brezec (Bobcats), Erazem Lorbek (2005 Draft-Pacers), Bostjan Nachbar (Hornets), Rasho Nesterovic (Spurs), Sani Becirovic (Draft rights held by Nuggets), Uros Slokar (2005 Draft-Raptors)

Spain: Jose Calderon (Raptors), Juan Carlos Navarro (Draft rights held by Wizards), Fran Vazquez (2005 Draft-Magic)

Turkey: Mehmet Okur (Jazz), Hedo Turkoglu (Magic), Cenk Akyol (2005 Draft-Hawks)

Ukraine: Slava Medvedenko (Lakers), Sergei Lishouk (Draft rights held by Grizzlies)

QUALITY STILL AVAILABLE

Still some interesting free agents out there, but teams seem to be afraid to make offers to restricted free agents:

Gerald Wallace is one of those restricted free agents. He is reportedly not happy with the long term deal the Bobcats are offering, so he may look for a better deal elsewhere or take Charlotte's one-year qualifying offer.
-- [Charlotte Observer, Reg. req'd]

Same situation with Eddy Curry and the Bulls. Looks like he will take their qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
-- [Chicago Sun Times, Reg. req'd]

The Bulls are close to signing someone else's restricted free agent though. Darius Songaila appears to be headed to Chicago.
-- [Chicago Tribune]

Out west, there hasn't been much talk about Sonics RFA's Reggie Evans, Flip Murray and Vladimir Radmanovic. Minnesota has shown some interest in Evans, but teams must feel that the Sonics intend to keep these guys, and don't want to waste their energy. -- [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Gary Payton may be Miami-bound. The Heat could have easily chalked up their Conference Finals loss to injuries and stayed pat this summer, but they have really changed the look of their team. It will be very interesting to see how that squad plays together this season.
-- [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

The Cavs are reportedly close to signing Alan Henderson.
-- [Akron Beacon Journal, Reg. req'd]

BATTLEGROUNDS - LEBRON STYLE

LeBron James will see if he can get street ballers from New York and Chicago to play team ball when the new season of Battlegrounds premiers on MTV2 this Sunday at 8 pm eastern. Andre Iguodala and Ben Gordon will coach the two teams. Something to check out if you're feenin' for some hoops action this weekend.
Nowitzki will try to help Germany pull off a surprise in Eurobasket 2005
(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/NBAE)
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Jazz guard Gordan Giricek on his expectations for Croatia heading into Eurobasket:

ďI expect the gold. Itís a competitive way of thinking. If we are there to compete, then Iím thinking of winning the title, it is the only possible way to reason.Ē
-- [eurobasket.com]

2004-05 ARCHIVE
Aug. 29 -- Got Fin?
Aug. 3 -- Making History
July 22 -- Market Value
July 15 -- Coaching Carousel
July 5 -- On The Move
June 28 -- Making the Grade
June 27 -- Confidence, Mate
June 7-23 -- The Finals Blog
June 3 -- Conf. Finals
May 27 -- Conf. Finals
May 20 -- Conf. Semifinals
May 13 -- Conf. Semifinals
May 5 -- Round 1
Apr. 29 -- Playoffs 2005 Begin
April 19 -- Giving It Away
April 12 -- Playoff Bound
April 5 -- Draw the Curtain
March 29 -- Battling for Position
March 22 -- Gone a Long Time?
March 15 -- Deja View
March 8 -- Top to Bottom
March 1 -- Dynamic Duos
Feb. 25 -- Much Adieu About
Feb. 16-20 -- All-Star Blog 2005
Feb. 15 -- Random House
Feb. 9 -- Reserves, Deserves
Feb. 1 -- All-Starters
Jan. 25 -- South by Southwest
Jan. 19 -- My Kind of Town
Jan. 11 -- 'S Wonderful
Jan. 4 -- Points Well Taken
Dec. 29 -- New Year's Wishes
Dec. 21 -- A Wonderful Life
Dec. 14 -- How Good is Good?
Dec. 7 -- Getting Medieval
Nov. 30 -- LeBron vs. Dwyane
Nov. 23 -- Playing Good Ball
Nov. 16 -- SuperbSonics
Nov. 9 -- Hitting the Blue Note
Nov. 3 -- Bling, Bang, Boom
2003-04 -- Archive