Category: Cronkite News

Suns’ Len looks forward to expanded role but must overcome broken finger

Most top-five NBA draft picks are immediately featured in the plans of the teams that choose them, but an ankle surgery and the Phoenix Suns’ unexpected success last season had Alex Len waiting to contribute. Now that he has healthy legs under him, Len said he is ready to make an impact. “My ankles are healthy. Everything’s good. One of my goals in the offseason was to condition myself, and I came to camp in much better shape this season,” he said during last week’s training camp in Flagstaff. But health became an issue again Tuesday, when Len fractured a pinky in practice. It’s the same finger he fractured in July’s NBA Summer League. The Suns will reevaluate his status next week but for now say he is sidelined indefinitely. Len, who averaged 2.0 points per game in 42 contests during his rookie season, said pre-draft ankle surgery hampered his conditioning throughout the year, limiting his playing time and role on the team. This preseason his improved conditioning and durability have coaches and teammates looking forward to an expanded role for the 7-foot-1 center from Ukraine. “For a big guy who’s long, he’s able to get up the court,” head coach Jeff Hornacek said during training camp in Flagstaff. “At this altitude, it usually hits the bigger guys more than the guards, but Alex has been able to get...

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Suns look to Tolliver to replace Frye’s production at forward

PHOENIX – When Channing Frye left the Phoenix Suns for the Orlando Magic in the offseason, much more than his 11.1 points per game went with him. Frye’s ability to shoot 3-pointers and spread the floor was a key asset to the Suns offense, something point guards Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe didn’t take for granted when they were carving defenses and driving to the basket. But the team is confident it’s found someone who can keep defenders honest without missing a beat. Enter Anthony Tolliver, a 6-foot-8 stretch forward signed in free agency. “I’m moving around at all times, picking and popping and making the bigger guys move,” Tolliver said. “Bigger guys hate guarding me because I don’t stop moving.” Head coach Jeff Hornacek said Tolliver’s versatility was a big reason why the Suns the signed him to a two-year, $6 million contract in the offseason. After almost exclusively playing small forward for the Charlotte Bobcats last season, more of Tolliver’s minutes will be coming at power forward for the Suns. “He can mix it up,” Horancek said. “He can shoot it or take the ball and put it down a couple times and make another play. It’s not just all spot-up shooting, so he’s a good weapon.” Hornacek said that while Tolliver won’t be expected to play center like Frye did, Tolliver, who shot a career-best 41.3...

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Appeals court upholds conviction in Flagstaff police officer’s murder

WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court Wednesday upheld Eric Michael Clark’s conviction in the 2000 murder of Flagstaff Police Officer Jeffrey Moritz, who was gunned down after a traffic stop. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Clark’s arguments that his trial and appellate attorneys were ineffective for not properly pursuing his claim of mental incompetence. Clark, who was 17 at the time of the shooting, argued at trial that he believed aliens had invaded Flagstaff and taken over the bodies of government agents, including police. His trial was delayed for years while he underwent treatment to become competent to stand trial. His current attorney said she was disappointed by the ruling . “This poor kid,” said Carla Ryan, the attorney. “Well, he’s not a kid anymore, but it’s just such a sad story.” The Arizona Attorney General’s office did not immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday. The case began on June 21, 2000, when Moritz responded to early-morning complaints of a pickup truck circling a residential block and blaring loud music. After spotting the truck, Moritz turned on the lights and siren of his marked patrol car and Clark, who was driving the truck, pulled over. Within a minute, however, Clark had shot Moritz at close range, then ran away. Moritz died soon after. Clark was found later that day with gunpowder...

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DIY motorcycle shop gives bikers tools, tips – and a chance to save money

PHOENIX – MEGAN GUTHRIE/CRONKITE NEWS: They say if you want something done right, do it yourself. Well, a motorcycle garage in Phoenix functions around this idea, letting customers get their hands dirty and fix their own bikes. Michael Gordon takes a look at the MotorCycle Hideout. MICHAEL GORDON/CRONKITE NEWS: At the MotorCycle Hideout, owner Steve Kaloczi has only two rules for customers, be ready to get your hands dirty and don’t be afraid of making mistakes. STEVE KALOCZI/OWNER, MOTORCYCLE HIDEOUT: Many people suspect they can do certain things of maintenance, repairs and upkeep, but it just seems daunting. MICHAEL GORDON/CRONKITE NEWS: When Steve and his family first opened the shop in 2012, he wanted a place where riders could mend their bikes themselves. Christopher Stubbs has brought his bike in for repairs many times, by his estimate saving… CHRISTOPHER STUBBS/MOTORCYCLE HIDEOUT CUSTOMER: A couple thousand dollars easily. MICHAEL GORDON/CRONKITE NEWS: Customers are charged one flat-rate fee, including tools, work space and professional guidance, if needed. Working on the bikes that they love with their own hands is important to Steve’s customers, but so is avoiding the high expenses that can accompany full-service garages. CHRISTOPHER STUBBS/MOTORCYCLE HIDEOUT CUSTOMER: It’s far more expensive to take your bike to a shop. Second is time, a lot of shops are really really busy, they schedule, they over-schedule so you don’t know when you’re going to...

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New GoDaddy offices in Tempe bring play along to the workday

TEMPE – MEGAN GUTHRIE/CRONKITE NEWS: One Valley company is taking the saying “work hard, play hard” to a whole new level. MEGAN GUTHRIE/CRONKITE NEWS: GoDaddy opened its 150,000-square-foot global technology center today in Tempe. The space houses more than 1,000 employees. But the employees are doing a lot more than work. They can shoot hoops, skateboard, work out, rock climb and – get this – when they’re hungry, then can take a trip down the slide to get to the cafeteria. The GoDaddy CEO says sliding shaves a minute off your commute to lunch. BLAKE IRVING/GoDADDY CEO: We want this place to be as fun and integral to their lives as their home is. And frankly, to have a location that has the same kind of things that they would like to do at home just means that they’re going to spend time here and they’re going to make that the most productive time they possibly can. MEGAN GUTHRIE/CRONKITE NEWS: While 200 people have been hired to work in Tempe since GoDaddy broke ground on this building, and another 250 are expected to be hired in the coming...

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