Tag: Peja Stojakovic

NBA Draft Basketball

Ben McLemore talks adjusting to the NBA (VIDEO)

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I promised you more from the rookie photo shoot, here is our own Kay Adams (you know, the woman who makes me look good on PBT Extra) this time talking with Kings rookie Ben McLemore.

Kay is nice, doesn’t even ask him once what was up with the shooting slump during Summer League (the Kings aren’t worried, by the way). They do talk about playing in Sacramento, and McLemore gets the history of his jersey number (it was Peja Stojakovic’s number… the Kings hope McLemore can shoot like that).

Peja Stojakovic announces retirement after 13 seasons

Portland Trail Blazers v New Orleans Hornets

Peja Stojakovic, the Croatian-born sharpshooter, has announced he is going to retire from the NBA after a 13-year NBA career.

Stojakovic spoke to ESPNDallas.com about the decision.

The three-time All-Star told ESPN.com on Monday that the physical toll involved in playing after a string of back and neck troubles, at age 34, convinced him that “it’s time” to step away from the game despite interest from a handful of contenders in signing the sharpshooter away from the Mavericks.

“When you start competing against your body more than you’re preparing for the actual game,” Stojakovic said, “it’s a wakeup call.”

Stojakovic was a three-time All-Star on some very good Sacramento Kings teams a decade ago (a team that featured Chris Webber and then very good Mike Bibby). He went on to be the designated kick-out guy for Chris Paul in New Orleans, then last year won a ring with Dallas (having some big games in the sweep of the Lakers). We think of him as a catch-and-shoot three-point specialist (he was) but his game was more rounded than that, he could put it on the floor and played with a high IQ of the game.

For his career he averaged 17 points per game and shot 40.1 percent from three. Impressive numbers. He also helped lead Yugoslavia to two European championships.

David Stern released this statement on Stojakovic’s retirement.

“Peja will go down as one of the great shooters in the history of the NBA. His success was the result of a tireless work ethic and an unquenchable desire to be the best at what he did. Peja’s legacy, however, goes way beyond his 3-point skills and that elusive Finals title he won last season with the Dallas Mavericks. Peja was part of the wave of international stars that helped introduce the world to the NBA game and inspired thousands of fans to begin playing the sport of basketball.”

Will Rudy Fernandez tell Dallas he wants to stay in Spain?

Rudy Fernandez

UPDATE 12:06 pm: A source (ho sounds a whole lot like an agent) has denied that Rudy Fernandez is going to try and get out of his deal with the Mavs, according to Hoopshype.

“Rudy Fernandez’s plan is to join the Mavericks next week and play with them this year,” the source said. “Asking for a buyout is not an option at this moment at all. He wants to play with Dallas and do a good job there.”

My guess: The first reports came out of Spain and were likely someone tied to Madrid, but his agent stepped in and has tried to put out any fires.

I still expect Fernandez to play for Dallas this season and Real Madrid next season.

11:12 am: Next season, Rudy Fernandez will be playing for Real Madrid.

Which is where he has been playing the past month, draining crazy threes while the NBA remained on lockout. Now he is boarding a plane back to Dallas — which acquired him on a draft day trade to join their merry band of veterans (and replace Peja Stojakovic as the deep threat off the bench).

And when Fernandez gets to Dallas, he will tell management he wants to go back to Madrid, tweets Sportando.

As per El Confidencial, Rudy Fernandez will travel to Dallas next Monday and will tell Mavs he wants to continue his career with Real M.

It’s like Groundhog Day. We went through this last summer with Portland.

As Portland did, Dallas will tell him to be shut up and put on the Mavs uniform. Well, they’ll be nicer about it, but that will be the message. Dallas sees Fernandez as an upgrade they went out and got for a reason. A guy who can help them improve and repeat as champions. Plus, he’s an expiring deal in an era when the Mavs need to think about trimming payroll for a couple years down the line.

Next year you can return to Madrid, Fernandez. This season you will play in Dallas. Which is like the Madrid of Texas. Kind of.

Report: Greek team makes offer to Corey Maggette

Corey Maggette
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Greek teams were not expected to be big players in the “grab an NBA player during the lockout” game because, well, their country’s economy is so bad it’s sucking half of Europe into the seventh level of hell with it.

But at least one team is making a run.

According to TalkBasket.net (who got it from a Greek sports site), PAOK has made an offer to Corey Maggette. No word on if the Bucks swingman and and-one specialist plans to take them up on their offer. He would need to have an opt-out in the deal as he has two years and $21 million left on his contract.

The report also stats that if PAOK doesn’t get Maggette they have a couple other NBA players in mind. PAOK is one of the bigger names in Greek hoops and guys like Peja Stojakovic, Rasho Nesterovic and even current Bucks head coach Scott Skiles have played for them.

Barea, Cardinal replace Stevenson, Stojakovic in Maverick rotation

J.J. Barea

According to HOOPSWORLD’s Alex Kennedy, J.J. Barea will start over DeShawn Stevenson for the Mavericks in tonight’s Game 4, and Brian “The Janitor” Cardinal will be moved ahead of Peja Stojakovic in the Mavericks’ rotation.

At first blush, this move does not appear to make a lot of sense. Stevenson has been quietly having a pretty good Finals. He’s defended both Wade and James fairly well (he seems particularly adept at taking James, who still seems to hate Stevenson, out of his game), and has averaged an efficient six points a game while making two-thirds of his three-pointers.

Barea, meanwhile, has loudly been having a terrible, terrible series. He’s averaging 4.3 points, 1.7 assists, and 1.3 turnovers per game, and has shot 21.7% from the floor and 12.5% from the three-point line. And he hasn’t exactly been making up for it on the defensive end.

Still, there are some possible motivations for Carlisle’s decision here. Stevenson is an efficient scorer, but his offensive game is entirely based around catching and shooting — as ineffective as Barea has been, he forces the defense to move and pay attention to him by constantly dribbling around the perimeter, working pick-and-rolls, darting into the paint, and pulling up for threes if he gets any space.

Miami now has two choices regarding their starting backcourt — take their chances with the glacial Mike Bibby chasing Barea around, or force Wade to expend far more energy on defense than he has when he’s been guarding Stevenson. Kidd, who will be guarding Wade to start the game, isn’t as good of a defender as Stevenson is, but Carlisle may be betting that the best way to slow Wade down on offense is to make him work on the defensive end of the floor.

The Cardinal over Stojakovic decision is easier to make — Peja’s only real NBA skill at this point is shooting, and he hasn’t been making shots, having made a grand total of one field goal and zero threes through the first three games of the Finals. Cardinal isn’t as good of a scorer as Peja is when he’s on, but he can stretch the floor well enough himself and earned the nickname “The Janitor” during his breakout year in Golden State for his blue-collar style of play. (Also, he kind of looks like a janitor.)

As Dirk Nowitzki mentioned after Game 3, Game 4 is virtually a must-win game for the Mavericks — if they lose, they’ll have to win three games in a row to win the finals, with the final two of those games coming in Miami. The fact of the matter is that Miami has outplayed Dallas fairly handily through the first three games of the series, and is one historic collapse away from being up 3-0, so a shakeup from Carlisle shouldn’t really have come out of left field.