Nets plan to be patient with Derrick Favors

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Thumbnail image for DFavors.jpgDerrick Favors is going to be good, maybe very good.

Someday. Right now he is a raw rookie who is about to have to refine his game in the rough world of the NBA. It’s not an easy transition for the best of them.

Avery Johnson knows this, and told Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts on WFAN in New York that the franchise would be patient with bringing Favors along.

It depends on how fast he moves along, but we’re not expecting him to come in and play 38 minutes next year and score 18 points and get 10 rebounds.  That’s not what we’re expecting.  Kevin Garnett came out of high school basically at the same age of this kid and I know he didn’t go to college but they were around the same age… and I think Kevin averaged about 11 points per game his rookie season.

We just want to get him in, get him through his press conference on Tuesday, get him on the court for summer league practice on Wednesday, and we’ll have a chance to coach him and get him up to speed on the NBA game.  The game is going to be moving pretty fast for him early on and it’s gonna be much more physical than he ever experienced in college.  There’s gonna be an adjustment period.  I just don’t know how long….”

But Johnson thinks once he does mature — both physically and his game — his ceiling is very, very high.

“I just think he can be a smaller version from a physical and athletic standpoint to Dwight Howard, but have a better jump shot and more of a touch around the basket.  I think he will be able to block shots and rebound and in time be able to move to about 16 feet.  He has a left-handed jump hook, a right-handed jump hook, and he’s gonna be craftier.  Just a smaller version of Dwight Howard once he puts on the weight.”

Raptors unveil updated court design

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Several teams have updated their court designs this offseason, including the Bulls, Nuggets, Bucks and Hawks. The Raptors are the latest team to update their floor, to go along with a new logo and uniforms. Here’s what the Air Canada Centre will look like this season:

It features their new claw/basketball logo at center court and the font on their new uniforms at the baselines. The “We The North” along the sideline is a nice touch, too. Overall, the Raptors have done an excellent job with their rebrand, just in time for All-Star Weekend to be hosted in Toronto for the first time.

Former UCLA, NBA player Dave Meyers dies at 62

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LOS ANGELES (AP) Dave Meyers, the star forward who led UCLA to the 1975 NCAA basketball championship as the lone senior in coach John Wooden’s final season and later played for the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, died Friday. He was 62.

Meyers died at his home in Temecula after struggling with cancer for the last year, according to UCLA, which received the news from his younger sister, Ann Meyers Drysdale.

He played four years for Milwaukee after being drafted second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers. Shortly after, Meyers was part of a blockbuster trade that sent him to the Bucks in exchange for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The 6-foot-8 Meyers led UCLA in scoring at 18.3 points and rebounding at 7.9 in his final season, helping the Bruins to a 28-3 record. He had 24 points and 11 rebounds in their 92-85 victory over Kentucky in the NCAA title game played in his hometown of San Diego.

Meyers Drysdale also played at UCLA during her Hall of Fame career.

Meyers assumed the Bruins’ leadership role during the 1974-75 season after Bill Walton and Jamaal Wilkes had graduated. Playing with sophomores Marques Johnson and Richard Washington, Meyers earned consensus All-America honors. Meyers made the cover of Sports Illustrated after the Bruins won the NCAA title.

“One of the true warriors in (at)UCLAMBB history has gone on to glory,” Johnson wrote on Twitter. “Dave Meyers was our Captain in `75 and as tenacious a player ever. RIP.”

Johnson recalled in other tweets how Meyers called him `MJB’ or Marques Johnson Baby when he was a freshman, and later in the NBA, Meyers was nicknamed “Crash” because he always diving on the floor for loose balls.

As a junior, Meyers started on a front line featuring future Hall of Famers Walton and Wilkes.

Meyers was a reserve as a sophomore on the Bruins’ 1973 NCAA title team during the school’s run of 10 national titles in 12 years under Wooden. The team went 30-0 and capped the season by beating Memphis 87-66 in the championship game, when Meyers had four points and three rebounds.

In 1975, Meyers, along with Elmore Smith, Junior Bridgeman and Brian Winters, was traded to Milwaukee for Abdul-Jabbar and Walt Wesley.

During the 1977-78 season, Meyers was reunited with Johnson on the Bucks and averaged a career-best 14.7 points. He missed the next year with a back injury. Meyers returned in 1979-80 to average 12.1 points and 5.7 rebounds in helping the Bucks win a division title.

Born David William Meyers, he was one of 11 children. His father, Bob, was a standout basketball player and team captain at Marquette in the 1940s. The younger Meyers averaged 22.7 points as a senior at Sonora High in La Habra, California.

Meyers made a surprise announcement in 1980 that he was retiring from basketball to spend more time with his family. He later earned his teaching certificate and taught sixth grade for several years in Lake Elsinore, California.

He is survived by his wife, Linda, whom he married in 1975, and daughter Crystal and son Sean.