Culture of Hoops

June 2013 News and Rumors

6/28/2013 – Vasquez may be on the move: With the Pelicans acquiring Holiday, it’s uncertain what their plans are for last season’s starting point guard Greivis Vasquez, who had a breakout season after averaging a career-high 13.9 points and 9.0 assists, which ranked third in the NBA. The Pelicans also have Austin Rivers, who played both point guard and shooting guard as a rookie last season, and Brian Roberts, who becomes a free agent July 1. ”What will happen is best for my career … So do not worry I’ll be fine wherever,” Vasquez tweeted after news of the trade spread. New Orleans Times-Picayune

6/28/2013 – Anthony Bennett surprised being picked first: UNLV power forward Anthony Bennett learned at the same moment everyone else did that the Cavaliers made him the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft on Thursday night at Barclays Center. And he was just as shocked. “I’m just as surprised as everybody else,” said Bennett, who became the first Canadian to be taken No. 1. “I didn’t really have any idea who was going No. 1 or who was going No. 2. I heard everything was up for grabs. “When they said my name, that’s when I knew. I had no idea before.” Cleveland Plain Dealer

6/28/2013 – Warriors buy their way into the NBA Draft: The 2013 NBA draft turned out to be a crazy ride with multiple surprise selections and several trades. And the Warriors, who began the night with no draft picks, found a way to contribute to the madness.Golden State landed the pick it wanted, buying the No. 26 overall selection, then trading down twice to the No. 30 pick. There, the Warriors threw another twist. Instead of filling a need and drafting a big man, the Warriors selected a combo guard from Serbia. Nemanja Nedovic — a 6-foot-3, 192-pound 22-year-old — was the result of the Warriors’ exhaustive efforts to secure a draft pick. It was a head-scratching end to a wild first round. Contra Costa Times

6/28/2013 – Nate Wolters is expected to find his way to the Milwaukee Bucks: The Milwaukee Bucks did find a point guard in Thursday night’s draft. It just took a second-round trade to make it happen. South Dakota State’s Nate Wolters is expected to be acquired by the Bucks when the trade becomes official, according to a source. Milwaukee took Providence’s Ricky Ledo with the 43rd pick. But Ledo was to be sent to Dallas through Philadelphia, which acquired the 38th pick from Washington as part of a deal for Glen Rice Jr. Wolters originally was chosen 38th overall by the Wizards. The bottom line is Wolters will help the Bucks’ depleted backcourt situation. The 6-foot-5 Wolters was a third team All-American with the Jackrabbits last season and ranked fourth in the NCAA in scoring at 22.7 points per game. Wolters is a good ball handler and will get a chance with the Bucks, who have just one guard currently under contract. The Allegiant Athletic Agency, which represents Wolters, confirmed the deal late Thursday. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

6/28/2013 – Wizards trade for Glen Rice Jr.: Before the NBA draft, Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said that it was unlikely that the team would enter next season with three rookies on the roster. After taking Georgetown star Otto Porter with the third overall pick on Thursday, the Wizards decided to package their two second picks to acquire Glen Rice Jr. from the Philadelphia 76ers, according to multiple league sources with knowledge of the situation. The 76ers originally chose Rice, the son of the three-time NBA all-star, with the 35th pick. In return, the Wizards sent South Dakota State point guard Nate Wolters (the 38th pick) and Oregon power forward Arsalan Kazemi (54th) to Philadelphia. Washington Post

6/28/2013 – Jazz in trade frenzy mode: The Utah Jazz were in all-out trade mode Thursday night. Not only did the Jazz trade up for point guard Trey Burke and center Rudy Gobert, but Utah made a late roster addition by sending a future second-round pick to Atlanta in exchange for Brazilian point guard Raul Neto. Neto, a 6-1, 172-pound playmaker, was the 47th pick in the draft by the Hawks. Atlanta will receive the Brooklyn Nets’ 2015 second-round pick from Utah, which acquired it in a previous trade. “He’s a pure point,” Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said of Neto. “He really knows how to play. He’s a pure passer, a capable shooter.” Deseret News

6/28/2013 – Not good news for Kobe Bryant: Many professional basketball players who rupture their Achilles tendon never make it back for another season, according to a new study. Researchers also found those who suffer the heel injury and do come back tend to perform at a lower level than they did before getting hurt. “If you follow the sport you can see it’s a devastating injury to these players,” said Dr. Douglas Cerynik, the senior author of the study from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. In April, an Achilles tendon rupture ended the season of Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who suffered the injury during a game against Golden State. The tendon runs along the back of the ankle and heel. A tear often requires surgery to repair it, followed by rehabilitation. Yahoo! Sports


6/27/2013 – Kate Upton and Blake Griffin an item: Kate Upton is “said to be hooking up with NBA hunk Blake Griffin!” I am here for this. Upton and Griffin were “cuddling all night and couldn’t keep their hands off each other” at a NYC club. “They were grinding on the dance floor” at Avenue and “danced the night away.” Grantland

6/27/2013 – Dwight Howard may land in Dallas: Howard’s major problem with the Lakers is the system that coach Mike D’Antoni employs. Beyond that, he did not enjoy playing with Kobe Bryant, though he could manage to do so in a different system, a source said. Howard also does not want to be second fiddle to Bryant for several more seasons. While many believe Houston is the Lakers’ stiffest competition, sources say Howard finds Dallas just as appealing, if not more. Assuming the Mavericks are able to clear enough cap space to offer him a maximum-salaried contract, Howard is strongly considering joining Dallas. The Mavericks are trying to shed Shawn Marion’s $9 million expiring contract to create the room to sign Howard, according to sources.

6/27/2013 – Porter locked into the third spot: When everything points to the obvious, when outside-the-box thinking produces only pipe dreams and obscures the value of staying local, sometimes the best thing to do is follow intuition and do the obvious. Barring a last-minute deal or a complete change of heart by another team, Otto Porter Jr. is going to be a Washington Wizard by about 7:45 p.m. Thursday night. Porter is being tabbed as the safe pick for the Wizards at No. 3 in the NBA draft, the jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none small forward from Georgetown who was in the team’s sights from the day they leapfrogged several teams in the lottery and secured the third spot. Washington Post

6/27/2013 – Aldridge wants out of Portland: Throughout this summer, there have been rumors the Trail Blazers might trade LaMarcus Aldridge, and I’m not the least bit surprised. Not that I believe general manager Neil Olshey is looking to move the star power forward. But I believe Aldridge wants out. Will it result in a trade during Thursday’s NBA Draft? I doubt it, unless it includes Portland getting either Atlanta’s Al Horford, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, New Jersey’s Brook Lopez, or the Clippers’ Blake Griffin. See, Aldridge wants to end his seven-year run with the Blazers because he thinks Portland is too small. Too boring. Oregonian

6/27/2013 – Eric Bledsoe tunes out Clippers’ trade rumors: Bledsoe, the former University of Kentucky guard, hosted about 200 children during two sessions of Camp One Louisville at Hoops on Wednesday. He had a relaxing day coaching kids and signing autographs on the eve of the NBA draft, where his name could come up in a trade. “I’m going to be watching the draft, but … I’m a Clipper,” he said. “I’m going to work hard and try to improve my game as best that I can.” Bledsoe averaged a career-high 8.5 points in his third season with the Clippers, playing alongside All-Star Chris Paul. “My experience, especially with the Clippers, has been great,” he said. “They’ve been helping build, and right now they keep helping me build. I’m just working this summer and trying to get better day by day.” USA Today

6/27/2013 – Noah Still not 100 percent: “My foot feels a lot better, but I still have a lot of work to do,” Noah told ESPN Wednesday at the “Steve Nash Foundation Showdown,” a charity soccer game in Manhattan. “I’m still not 100 percent, but I feel pretty good and I’ll be ready at the beginning of the season.” Noah, 28, gutted through the injury during the playoffs and didn’t miss a game because of it. He averaged 10.8 points and 9.6 rebounds during the postseason in 34.1 minutes per contest. “It really sucks,” Noah said during the team’s first-round series against the Brooklyn Nets. “Plantar fasciitis sucks. It feels like you have needles underneath your foot while you’re playing. That’s what it feels like. You can imagine; you need to jump, you need to run, you need to do a lot of things while you’re playing basketball, so you don’t want needles on your feet, right?”

6/27/2013 – Noel still the favorite to be drafted number one: The 6-11 big man is a favorite to shake Commissioner David Stern’s hand first in Thursday night’s NBA draft (7:30 ET, ESPN), but it’s unclear whether the Cleveland Cavaliers will take a chance on a player recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament tear in his left knee that cut his freshman season at Kentucky short back in February. That’s especially the case when other talented, healthy players are available. “Really there are as many questions about Nerlens Noel as there are with anybody in the draft,” ESPN analyst Jay Bilas says. “We’re talking about a No. 1 pick who’s a defensive savant, but he can’t score and is injured. Offensively, he has a long way to go. He scores off activity level, not skill level. And we can’t forget he’s hurt. We’re not talking about a sprained ankle, you’d be drafting a guy who just tore his ACL. No one said, ‘I don’t think Greg Oden will pan out.’ This is more unusual. For a top draft pick, he raises a lot of questions.” USA Today

6/27/2013 – Ben McLemore on finding his killer instinct: Most analysts expect McLemore to be selected in the top five tonight, but his draft stock has slipped during the past few weeks. NBA general managers continue to worry whether the 6-foot-5 forward can turn his heart of gold into a killer instinct against the best players in the world. McLemore is not worried — not about his draft position, not about the perception that he’s too kind and not about whether he’ll be able to flip the switch when playing the game he loves becomes a full-time job. In many ways, he says he already has done that, and he credits former Jayhawk Thomas Robinson, who was selected fifth by Sacramento in last year’s draft, with helping him realize what it took. “I just remember watching him and thinking, ‘Wow, he’s an animal, and when he’s like that he can’t be stopped,’” McLemore said. “I saw it all the time. And watching him do those things when the team needed it most made me want to be like that.” Lawrence Journal-World

6/27/2013 – Knicks go with orange alternate jerseys: The New York Knicks will have a new alternate jersey for the 2013-14 season, and it will be orange. Just like Carmelo Anthony’s new shoes. It’s unclear when the Knicks were planning to announce the jersey officially, but Iman Shumpert let the cat out of the bag on Wednesday, posting a picture to his Instagram account. He quickly deleted the photo, which seems to indicate the pictures weren’t supposed to be out yet. For The Win

6/27/2013 – Mayweather picks LeBron over Jordan: Floyd Mayweather wasn’t influenced by his surroundings Wednesday when asked to weigh in on one of the hottest debates in the NBA: LeBron James or Michael Jordan. “Who’s a better player between LeBron James and Michael Jordan? I would say LeBron James,” Mayweather said on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN Chicago 1000. “And I’m from the Michael Jordan era. I’m 36 years old.” “We’re not talking about championships, because if we’re talking about championships, Bill Russell has 11,” Mayweather said. “And the dunks Michael Jordan was doing in the dunk contest, Julius Irving was doing it. … Really when we’re talking about who’s the best basketball player, it’s just an opinion.

6/27/2013 – Hibachi strikes again: Ex-NBA star Gilbert Arenas’ 4th of July is gonna suck — ’cause he got nailed by cops early this morning for illegal fireworks — A TON OF ILLEGAL FIREWORKS — as in a full truckload of ’em … TMZ has learned. Law enforcement sources tell us Arenas was pulled over by Califorrnia Highway Patrol around 2:30 AM in Los Angeles for speeding in a Ford pickup — but officers immediately saw that the truck was filled with fireworks … sitting in plain sight in the bed and cab of the truck. We’re told Arenas was arrested and will be booked for possession of illegal fireworks, and cited for speeding — he was allegedly doing 80 mph — and driving without a license.

Gilbert really is the best! – FB


6/26/2013 – Alex Len’s girlfriend is taller than Michael Jordan: It’s looking more and more likely that the Cleveland Cavaliers will select 7-foot-1 Ukrainian center Alex Len with the first pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, which may come as a surprise to those not familiar with ACC Basketball. Len, a 20-year-old, averaged 11.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game in his sophomore season with the Maryland Terrapins, but his untapped potential (combined with a historically weak draft class), leave Len near the top of many draft boards. The Cavaliers even hired Vitaly Potapenko, a former Cavaliers center also from Ukraine, as a player-development coach, leading many to believe the move was made to smooth the transition for Len. The coolest thing about Alex Len, though? His girlfriend (6-foot-7 Essence Townsend) is nearly as tall as he is (and they make an adorable couple)! USA Today

6/26/2013 – 76ers shakeup: While attention in Philadelphia is focused on the future of free-agent center Andrew Bynum, none of his rivals would be surprised if Hinkie used this week to begin a shakeup. Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes would be the Philadelphia veterans who would draw the most interest, depending on Hinkie’s yet-to-be-defined preferences.

6/26/2013 – Bobcats plan to keep Kidd-Gilchrist: Charlotte Bobcats general manager Rich Cho said in a local radio interview this morning that the team is not shopping second-year small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, as was reported on an NBA website Tuesday. “No! We’re not shopping him,’’ Cho said on WFNZ-AM 610. “We get calls about all our players. It’s my job to take calls. We’re not shopping MKG.’’ The website posted a story Tuesday saying the Bobcats “are shopping Michael Kidd-Gilchrist around the league, confident they will be able to replace him with Otto Porter of Georgetown with the No. 4 pick in Thursday’s draft.’’ Charlotte Observer

6/26/2013 – Kings shopping multiple players: The Kings have made it clear that they aren’t (yet) interested in dealing volatile but extremely talented center DeMarcus Cousins. But just about anyone else with an existing contract could probably be had for the right price — including Marcus Thornton, John Salmons, Chuck Hayes, Jason Thompson, Jimmer Fredette and Patrick Patterson.

6/26/2013 – The John Wall diet: “I think my best feature are my abs. They’re cut up. Last year, when I was injured, I got overweight and I didn’t like myself because I had a big belly, and that’s not what I want to be.” [See: “Evaluating John Wall’s torso.”] On how his diet has changed: “It’s changed a lot since my first year in the NBA. I used to eat fast food and burgers and stuff like that. I didn’t put on weight during the season, but after the season was over, I could feel it coming. Now I eat salads, fruit, salmon, healthy things. I don’t eat fast food anymore. And I don’t eat ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, pickles. I don’t like sausage. I’m a different breed.” Washington Post

6/26/2013 – Nets interested in Kevin Garnett: The Nets have done what likely every team in the NBA has done this week: Put in a call to the Celtics about the availability of Kevin Garnett. A league source confirmed the Nets have inquired about whether Garnett would be available in a trade in the wake of the Celtics losing coach Doc Rivers to the Clippers and seemingly heading for a full-on roster rebuild and potentially the end of the Big Three Era in Beantown. Garnett undoubtedly would fill a hole for the Nets at power forward, as well as providing an intimidating defensive presence alongside All-Star center Brook Lopez and giving Jason Kidd one of the NBA’s most respected locker-room presences to aid him in his first season as a head coach. But it’s unclear whether Garnett would be willing to waive his complete no-trade clause for a trade to the Nets — or whether the Celtics would be willing to deal him to a division rival. New York Post

I don’t know if I can handle Deron Williams, Kris Humphries, and Kevin Garnett all on one team… – FB

6/26/2013 – Cavs add Bennett to the list of possible number one picks: With Thursday’s NBA Draft quickly approaching, sources within the Cavs insisted Tuesday that their draft board was not yet set and the team hadn’t decided yet who to take with the No. 1 overall pick. None of the options are a terrific fit and almost anyone the Cavs take will start the season coming off the bench. Maryland’s Alex Len and Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel remain the top big men available, but the Cavs have seemed cool on Noel throughout the draft process. ESPN draft analyst Chad Ford continues to believe the Cavs will take him, but admitted in a conference call Tuesday it was a guess and he was simply “reading the tea leaves.” Ford believes the choice has been narrowed to Len, Noel and UNLV’s Anthony Bennett. A few executives polled around the league believe the choice will come down to Len or Noel.

Akron Beacon Journal

This is just getting silly! – FB

6/26/2013 – Vogel meets with McMillan about assistant coach job: Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel isn’t wasting much time in his search to fill a recently-vacated assistant coaching slot. Vogel met with former Sonics and TrailBlazers head coach Nate McMillan on Monday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse regarding the position, a source told The Star. The two also went to dinner that night at Mo’s Steakhouse Downtown. The spot officially opened up Monday evening when associate head coach Brian Shaw accepted the Denver Nuggets head coaching position. McMillan, a 12-year NBA veteran as a player, went 478-452 in 12 years as a head coach in Seattle and Portland with five playoff appearances. He was also an assistant under Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski for the United States national team that won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympic games. Indianapolis Star

6/26/2013 – Taylor plays at Dyckman despite NBA rules: Despite NBA rules that prohibit players from playing in organized street summer leagues prior to July 1, Brooklyn Nets backup point guard Tyshawn Taylor stepped on the Dyckman Park court Monday night for a handful of minutes. Taylor, who played opposite New York City high school star Isaiah Whitehead, a Lincoln point guard, said he had no knowledge of such rules. The league office recently levied fines on Lance Stephenson and Kemba Walker for playing in the same city basketball courts where they once honed their games. “I didn’t know that. That’s my story, I’m sticking to it,” Taylor told after his squad Taylor Made nearly sent the game into overtime after trailing by 10 points with two minutes left.


6/25/2013 – Celtics have Josh Smith on their radar: Consider the departure of Doc Rivers Phase II of the Celtics’ slow dismantling, which began last summer with Ray Allen leaving Boston. Phase III will come this week, when Boston must either trade Paul Pierce or decide to buy him out. They have until June 30 to inform Pierce of such a move. As for the rebuilding sure to follow the dismantling, that is contingent on what happens with Pierce. If the Celtics can unload Pierce to a team with enough cap space to absorb his salary, they will get a trade exception worth Pierce’s salary, or $15.3 million. And if that happens, the plan is already in place. According to a source, the Celtics have a sign-and-trade offer ready for Atlanta forward Josh Smith that would be the top priority in free agency. Sporting News

6/25/2013 – MWP staying with Lakers: Metta World Peace is staying put with the Los Angeles Lakers. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the veteran small forward will play out the final year of his contract (worth $7.7 million) rather than exercise the early termination option on his deal. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because the decision had not yet been made public. World Peace had until Tuesday to make his decision, and the lack of clarity that surrounded him in Laker Land made his process all the more problematic. Lakers center and free-agent-to-be Dwight Howard has still not indicated whether he will re-sign or head elsewhere, and World Peace had considered opting out in order to become a free agent rather than take part in these unstable Lakers times. USA TODAY

6/25/2013 – Magic chasing Eric Bledsoe: The L.A. Clippers seem to have done a good job outing the Orlando Magic and their pursuit of Eric Bledsoe. Sources say the Clippers are making sure there isn’t a better offer out there for Bledsoe than the package that Orlando is said to be constructing. As of last night, it seemed the Magic’s deal was centered around Arron Afflalo and possibly last year’s first-round selection Andrew Nicholson. There was talk that a protected 2015 first-round pick would be included, basically replacing the draft asset the Clippers had to surrender to get Doc Rivers out of Boston. The Magic would in return get Bledsoe and forward Caron Butler. The deal is far from done, according to sources, as both the Clippers and the Magic are exploring other options, but some of the players involved in the deal believe it may happen on draft night, assuming the Clippers can’t find a better deal. HoopsWorld

6/25/2013 – Pelicans interested in Chris Copeland: According to an NBA source, the newly named New Orleans Pelicans are planning to make a strong bid for the 6-foot-9 sniper as they are well under the salary cap and can make an offer that will blow Knicks owner James Dolan out of the water. The Knicks can match any Copeland offer since he is a restricted free agent, but only up to $3.1 million — their mini mid-level exception. Since the Pelicans are under the cap, they can easily top that number. The Pelicans are thin at small forward, having started Al-Farouq Aminu this season. The former Hornets love the inside-outside game Copeland displayed as a Knicks rookie out of the Ethias League in Belgium. The new rules of the collective bargaining agreement penalizing luxury-taxpayers could very well end the Knicks’ chances of keeping Copeland. Under the old CBA, the Knicks’ mid-level exception was $5.5 million to sign a free agent. But the taxpayers’ mid-level is just $3.18 million now. New York Post

If the Pelicans can reel in Double C and Gordon comes back healthy they will be dangerous. – FB

6/25/2013 – Garnett and Rivers not Dwight Howard fans: I’ve always gotten the sense that Rivers isn’t high on Howard (although that’s a long list of NBA people). One veteran coach recently described Howard very appropriately to me: “Dwight is all about the entertainment, not the competition.” It’s a standard rap on Howard, and a valid one. Doc also won’t be free of criticism for those who saw his loyalty to Boston disappear in relation to the talent on the team. Doc was in no mood for a rebuild, leading to a deal expected to be announced shortly after the NBA office signs off on the deal. But he also won’t be in the mood to take on the preeminent diva in the NBA.Besides, should the Clippers clear the apparent snafus in trying to land another Boston star _ Kevin Garnett _ that would lead to yet another major problem:Garnett pretty much hates Howard. Garnett’s soundtrack while guarding Howard, goes something like this, according to one of his teammates: “You’re a clown. You’re a circus act. You’re a clown. You’re a circus. Orlando Sentinel

6/25/2013 – Agent says Bynum will be ready for next season: Philadelphia 76ers center Andrew Bynum has completed his rehabilitation from season-ending knee surgery and is set to resume basketball workouts next week. Bynum’s agent, David Lee, told The Associated Press on Monday night there’s “not a concern in the world” that Bynum will be ready for training camp.He also said he had no conversations with the Sixers and does not expect any kind of deal with the team before the 7-foot center becomes a free agent on July 1. Lee says Bynum will get a jump on his regular offseason workouts by starting next week in Atlanta instead of his usual time in August. But where? Likely not with the team he failed to play a single game for because of bone bruises in his knees. Bynum was acquired last summer in a four-team trade that saw the Sixers deal Andre Iguodala to Denver and Nikola Vucevic to Orlando. Associated Press

I call shenanigans! – FB

6/25/2013 – Channing Frye has hopes of returning to the NBA: Channing Frye, who learned of a virus enlarging his heart after a September screening, missed all of the Suns’ 2012-13 season to see how his heart would respond to months of no activity beyond golf, yoga, walking and set- shooting. As the Suns approach Thursday’s draft and the start of free agency Monday, they also are factoring in Frye’s future as he nears final word from elite cardiologists who examined him for three days at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. “We’re both trying to be safe,” Frye said from his Portland, Ore., home. “I’ve seen the best and it’s up to us to decide the best for my future. I’m extremely hopeful and optimistic that everything gets worked out and I get to play next year for the Suns.” Arizona Republic

6/25/2013 – AAU coach say he recieved money from McLemores agent: The messy saga surrounding Ben McLemore and his representation will not prevent the Cavaliers from taking him with the first pick in Thursday’s draft, a league source said. It’s about the only flaw on McLemore, who enters this draft as the best wing available. McLemore headlines a group that includes Georgetown’s Otto Porter Jr. and Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, but the Cavs are impressed with the Kansas redshirt freshman who averaged 15.9 points last season and shot 42 percent on 3-pointers. Sources around the league have cautioned not to completely dismiss the problems involving McLemore, his former AAU coach Darius Cobb and Rodney Blackstock. Cobb met with NCAA investigators recently after telling USA Today he received thousands of dollars from Blackstock, who has been advising McLemore throughout this draft process. USA Today reported that Blackstock is now a certified agent. Akron Beacon Journal

6/25/2013 – Antoine Walker want to coach the Celtics: Former Celtic Antoine Walker said Monday night he was “serious” after tweeting Monday morning that he was interested in the Celtics head coaching job. Walker, 36, more recently known for his well-chronicled financial issues and a premature end to his career, said he wants to work in the NBA and has head-coaching aspirations. “I want to be back in the game, I love the game and am a student of the game,” he said. “I want to stress seriously that I do want to become a coach . . . there’s a lot of guys starting to get opportunities and so the league is getting younger coaches. Obviously I’m lacking in experience but we’ve all got to start from somewhere.” Boston Globe

Everyone wants a coach that lets you shoot all the threes you want and holds team meetings in a casino. – FB

6/25/2013 – Jason Terry to help coach Celtics Summer League team: “From my perspective, I have to get healthy,” said Terry, who had minor knee surgery earlier this month. “I’m thinking about my future, too, and I want to be a coach. I learned a lot from Doc last year. Next season I’m still going to be under Danny (Ainge), and it will be an opportunity for me to learn his side of the business. This is still a great organization to be part of.” Terry has been asked to help coach the C’s’ entry in the Orlando Summer League next month. Jay Larranaga, the only assistant who will still be under contract on July 1, will run the team. “I’ll be helping a lot of things,” Terry said. Boston Herald

6/25/2013 – Joeger named Grizzlies Head Coach: Joerger, who has spent the past six seasons on the Grizzlies’ bench, will succeed his former boss, Lionel Hollins. Hollins compiled a 196-155 record after taking over for Marc Iavaroni midway through the 2008-09 season. The 39-year-old Joerger emerged as a favorite for the position after Grizzlies management granted Hollins permission to seek other coaching opportunities. Before turning to their longtime assistant, the Grizzlies formally interviewed former Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry and Chicago Bulls assistant Ed Pinckney for the post, and also entertained the idea of bringing on high-profile names such as former Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl. Prior to the 2010-11 season, Joerger was tasked by Hollins to oversee the Grizzlies’ defense, which was ranked 25th in efficiency in 2009-10. In the three seasons under Joerger’s direction, the defense has improved from ninth overall in 2010-11, to seventh in 2011-12, then ranked second in the NBA during the Grizzlies’ historic 2012-13 season.

6/25/2013 – Kyrie Irving hosting basketball camp in Australia: The Melbourne-born NBA superstar will be visiting his place of birth for the first time since his family returned to the USA some 19 years ago. And, he’ll be lending his prodigious talents to developing the game in Melbourne, running a series of camps at the State Basketball Centre in Knox next week. At just 21 years of age, the point guard is among the game’s elite, having been named the 2012 NBA Rookie of the Year, and selected as an All-Star in 2013. That he’ll be in town is a big enough deal, but for him to dedicate a week to coaching local players is something else. It is, according to 1st Pick Hoops camps organiser Simon Mitchell, unprecedented. “This is an unbelievable opportunity,” he said. “It’s a chance to get up close with an NBA all-star at his peak. I’m not sure people understand how lucky they are.” Melbourne Herald-Sun

6/25/2013 – Jimmer to Utah rumors have officially started: The Sacramento Kings are looking to acquire a second first-round pick and are using guard Jimmer Fredette as bait. Sources say the Kings have reached out to a number of teams in the mid-to-late first round in an attempt to secure another pick. Both the Indiana Pacers and Utah Jazz are potential destinations for Jimmer. Kings coach Mike Malone is enamored with both Tim Hardaway Jr. and Tony Snell, but the Kings feel that they can get them much lower in the draft.

If this happens Jimmer will become the NBA version of Tebow. – FB

6/25/2013 – Teen grazed by bullet while watching NBA Finals: A teen watching NBA Finals postgame coverage in South Florida was hit by what police believe was celebratory gunfire. Fifteen-year-old Brandon Reid says he was watching Miami Heat basketball players celebrate their world championship Thursday when a bullet came through his mother’s sliding glass door and grazed his skull under the ear. USA Today

I blame Trick-Daddy for this. – FB
6/25/2013 – Cavs offer first pick for Aldridge: What are the Cleveland Cavaliers seeking in exchange for the No. 1 pick? Sources say they reached out to the Portland Trail Blazers in an attempt to land LaMarcus Aldridge for the Nos. 1 and 19 picks. The Blazers quickly rebuffed them.

That would put way too much pressure on the Blazers to draft another center with a bad wheel. – FB

6/25/2013 – Rivers to Clippers deal not done yet: Everything appeared to be set, the deal to get Coach Doc Rivers to the Clippers from the Boston Celtics just a formality once the NBA opened its offices Monday. But there have been obstacles that prevented the on-again, off-again deal from being completed, leaving it to be approved by the NBA another day. The Clippers were trying to work out details and the language of Rivers’ contract so it can be finalized, something that the team expects to happen by Tuesday. The Clippers had not submitted the contract to the NBA because it wasn’t complete. The Clippers worked all day Monday trying to finish the complicated deal. Los Angeles Times

6/25/2013 – Wolves want to trade up with Derrick Williams as the bait: The Wolves continue to try to move higher up in the draft to get their hands on Victor Oladipo. They’re offering Derrick Williams, the No. 9 and the No. 26 pick to move up, but so far haven’t found a taker. New Wolves GM Flip Saunders is enamored with Oladipo.

And just yesterday they weren’t interested in trading him. G.M.’s lie. – FB


6/24/2013 – Deng to the Wizards for the third pick: Sources close to the situation told that the Chicago Bulls, in their latest attempt to gauge the trade value of All-Star swingman Luol Deng, have had exploratory discussions with Washington about a deal that would land Deng with the Wizards and bring the No. 3 pick in Thursday’s draft to the Bulls. The most likely trade construction, if talks were to progress to the serious stage, would send Deng to the Wizards for the No. 3 pick and center Emeka Okafor, who would have to formally opt into his contract for next season ($14.5 million) this week for the trade to go through.

6/24/2013 – Brook Lopez has a screw loose: Brook Lopez’s fragile right foot has suffered another setback. A postseason physical uncovered the screw in Lopez’s surgically-repaired foot had bent and was replaced, the Nets announced Monday. Lopez, who twice fractured that foot during the 2011-12 season, will resume “basketball-related activities” in August, although the Nets did not reveal when the latest surgery took place. Lopez signed a four-year, $61 million contract before last season, but the Nets were unable to get insurance on his right foot. The Nets begin training camp in October. It’s an alarming development considering the history. This is the third time in less than two years that Lopez had surgery on his right foot. He first fractured his fifth metatarsal bone in December of 2011, and re-fractured the foot just five games after returning – sabotaging his lockout-shortened season. New York Daily News

6/24/2013 – Scottie Pippen ready to rumble: Turns out Scottie Pippen doesn’t need Michael Jordan to win after all — ’cause the NBA legend KO’d a guy in Malibu last night … TMZ has learned. Here’s what we know … 47-year-old Pippen was outside Nobu in the ‘Bu when he got into a fight with another guy. Not clear at this point what started the altercation — but we know it ended with the other guy getting so injured he was taken to a local hospital by ambulance. TMZ

6/24/2013 – Rebuilding is on in Boston: The deal allows Ainge to bring in a coach who is more comfortable with the franchise rebuild that will now certainly start in earnest. Paul Pierce is likely to be bought out by next Sunday’s deadline for $5 million, making him a free agent. Kevin Garnett is almost certain to be dealt somewhere sometime soon. Boston isn’t going to go to the bottom of the Eastern Conference; with Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley and Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger, the Celts still have a lot of talent to build around. But their days as a title contender are now certainly over. Anyone in my business who has ever held a microphone or digital recorder loves Doc Rivers. He is personable, quotable and (mostly) available, and he is a hell of a basketball coach. But it is impossible to feel good about his leaving the Boston Celtics for the Los Angeles Clippers. The problem is that no one is wrong for pursuing this. There’s no one to “blame.” But the result isn’t easy to swallow. The deal, completed in principle Sunday night, will allow Rivers to get out of the rest of his five-year, $35 million contract with the Celtics in order to go to the Clippers. L.A. will send an unprotected 2015 first-round pick to Boston as compensation. Rivers will get a three-year, $21 million deal from the Clippers, a compromise by both sides. A source indicated that Rivers will also have more say about basketball decisions with the Clippers than he did in Boston, where he had a good relationship with Celtics general manager Danny Ainge. But Ainge nonetheless had the final say.

6/24/2013 – Glen Taylor adds to his Timberwolves stock holdings: For the past several months, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has been looking for a buyer for the club who would originally own a portion of the team and then eventually would take over majority ownership.But after not finding a suitable partner, Taylor changed his mind and bought the stock holdings of six partners who wanted out. “I was looking at bringing somebody else in to do that, and it never worked out,” Taylor said. “So I just had told the partners that wanted to sell out, that had been with me for about 18 years, that if they wanted to sell out that I would buy their stock. I had about half of them do that, the other half stayed in. I just left that option up to them. They made their decisions, and everybody is happy with how it worked out.” So now with the hiring of Flip Saunders as president of basketball operations, Taylor seems more involved than ever and he is probably more excited about this draft than any in recent memory. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

6/24/2013 – Gal Mekel opening eyes around the NBA: Point guard Gal Mekel, fresh off leading little Maccabi Haifa to an upset of Euroleague Final Four regular Maccabi Electra Tel-Aviv for the Israeli championship earlier this month, appears to be inching closer to an NBA roster for next season. Mekel had an eye-opening workout last week with the Milwaukee Bucks, according to sources close to the situation, and will audition Monday for the Dallas Mavericks. Sources told that the Toronto Raptors, meanwhile, are the latest team to express interest in Mekel, who has made major progress since his days at Wichita State from 2006-2008 and increasingly appeals to NBA teams thanks to his size, ability to read the game and, most of all, his pick-and-roll proficiency. Other teams to register a level of interest in Mekel, sources say, include Atlanta, Indiana and Memphis. Utah also continues to track Mekel after giving him his first NBA audition last fall and inviting him to training camp, only for visa issues to prevent his participation.

6/24/2013 – Bradley Beal will be back on the court soon: Bradley Beal expects to be cleared to begin participating in basketball-related activities in “the next week or two” and said that his leg is healing “slowly but surely.” But the Wizards shooting guard admits that the “slowly” part has been most frustrating, since he has been limited for nearly three months with a stress injury in his right fibula. “Watching the playoffs, watching these games and watching guys scrimmage and play, it makes you want to be out there, but you can’t,” Beal said said Sunday while making an appearance for NBA Nation at the National Capital Barbecue Battle on Pennsylvania Avenue. “At the same time, it’s something you have to be patient with…You can’t really rush it. I’m definitely taking my time, doing what I need to do. Having my trainers working me out and do what I need to do and get healthy.”Beal is unlikely to play for the Wizards during NBA summer league in Las Vegas. The Wizards will play three games – against Golden State (July 13, at 4 p.m.), New York (July 14, at 4 p.m.) and Denver (July 16, at 10 p.m.) — before entering a single-elimination tournament. The schedule wouldn’t give him much time to recover before engaging in competitive games, but Beal said he still plans on traveling to Las Vegas for Team USA mini-camp. Washington Post

6/24/2013 – Mysteries of the NBA Draft: “It’s sort of in line with recent years, where we may not have those guys that make you stand up and go, ‘This is definitely a franchise player.’ One of my favorites is supposedly going in the second round. People are secretive. My dad [Marty Blake, who preceded him in his role] was asked by Geoff Petrie, ‘Is this guy a first round pick?’ He said, ‘He is if you make him one.’” That question and answer can apply to the top pick and just about every other one in this draft. The player who was thought to be — and still may be — the No. 1 choice is Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel. But in his one season with the Wildcats, Noel played just 24 games before his season ended with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He skipped playing at the NBA Draft combine and his slightly built frame and raw abilities, coupled with the injury questions, make him a mystery. The name Sam Bowie, an all-time draft day disaster, has been raised in comparison thanks to Bowie’s well-chronicled leg problems that the Portland Trailblazers ignored, and still plucked him for need with the No. 2 overall pick in 1984 — one spot ahead of Michael Jordan. But no more certain is the second choice, who was thought to be Kansas’ shooting guard Ben McLemore, but now may be Indiana’s Victor Oladipo or Georgetown’s Otto Porter. Or it could be Maryland’s 7-foot-1 center Alex Len — except that Len could be the No. 1 choice. “I haven’t seen that in a long, long time,” Blake said of the uncertainty surrounding not only the top pick, but the unknowns that will pepper the entire first round. “I need to go back, but it’s very rare that the top draft pick has been traded. That could happen this year.” Bergen Record

6/24/2013 – Burke wants to play for a “winner”: “I’m not getting caught up in it,” Burke said of his draft position. “I want to go where the program is going in the right direction and where the program is all about winning. If that’s at No. 9, then that’s at No. 9. If that’s at No. 2, then that’s at No. 2. I’m just ready to see where I’ll be going. … It’s been a long process, but I’ve been trying to enjoy it as much as possible. It’s definitely sinking in to a certain point, but I still don’t know where I’m going so it’s still all up in the air. I’m just excited and eager to figure out where I’m going on Thursday. I’m just looking forward to it.” HoopsWorld

6/24/2013 – Noel won’t lose any sleep over being number two : While every player wants to be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, Noel is honestly content with all three situations. Recently, rumors have surfaced that the Cavaliers may pick Maryland’s Alex Len over Noel. While that may disappoint Noel briefly, it’s not something that he’s going to lose any sleep over. “It definitely won’t be the end of the world,” Noel said of not being the top overall pick. “I mean, look at the past. Look at how many great players haven’t gone No. 1 and see what they’ve done with their careers. You can still become an All-Star and be successful. I mean, look at Carlos Boozer. He was a second-round pick. I mean, when you look at guys who went No. 2, you have Kevin Durant and a lot of other successful guys. If that happens, I’m just going to stay focused and use it as more motivation. I’m still going to be the player that I want to be. It’s all about your attitude and approach.” HoopsWorld

6/24/2013 – Zaire Wade is one of the nations top fifth grade prospects: As first posted by City League Hoops, and featured in this video, Zaire Wade has emerged as one of the nation’s top fifth grade boys basketball players. The younger Wade completely tore apart the competition at the recent John Lucas Future of the Game camp and emerged as one of the most impressive young point guards on offer. While Zaire Wade (anyone care to take a wager on how long it will be before someone nicknames him Congo or DRC?) may be as thin as any other beansprout shooting fifth grader, he shows plenty of the athletic gifts of his father, not to mention a similar deadly first step on his cuts to the basket. Zaire Wade has also shown a knack to take over leadership of his scrimmage squads, an act similar to his father, who now shares those duties with James (he also seems to share the sense of humor both his father and LeBron show, but that’s another story). Dwyane Wade appears to share something else with James, too: Zaire Wade’s affections. Given the fact that his father is a highly paid Nike athlete who has his own sneakers, one might assume that young Zaire would compete proudly sporting the latest D-Wades. He doesn’t. Instead, he played at the Future of the Game event wearing the latest LeBrons. Yahoo! Sports


6/20/2013 – Tracy McGrady still in search of an NBA Championship: Back in Miami, a reporter asked how McGrady wanted to be remembered. “A hell of a player, a prolific scorer, a guy that could score in a variety of ways,” he responded. “When I was in my prime, I put everything on the table. I tried to better myself in the playoffs. I tried to do more in the playoffs than I did in the regular season. If you look at my numbers, they don’t lie. I gave it my all.” His time in the spotlight had ended and McGrady walked away from the scrum, back to a practice for a Finals game that he had little chance of influencing. Grantland

6/20/2013 – Clearing The Air With Nerlens Noel: Noel has taken some criticism over how long it took him to select an agent and whether the people in his life were hurting his draft stock.“That’s just what they’re saying,” said Noel. “This has been the most focused I have been in my life. I’ve had so many things going on in the last few months from having meetings, to meeting with teams and interviews. Everything has just been so organized for me. They’ve done a great job by helping me, organizing everything. I’ve been very fortunate to have them.” Noel has also taken some heat for his NBA Draft Combine weight, a shocking 206 pounds. “Right now I’m at 218 pounds,” Noel said. “[People] act like I’m a grown man already; I know I’m still nineteen, and I still got some work to do with my body and everything basketball related. I feel all that’s going to come in time. You look at a lot of people that came into the league, Shaq, Dwight Howard, they grew into their man bodies like a lot of players in the NBA. I feel like that will come with time.” Another thing Noel feels will come in time is the offensive part of his game. “I think I can be really good on that side,” Noel said. “There are a lot of things I don’t showcase. HoopWorld

6/20/2013 – Sacramento Kings give draft prospect Tony Snell another look: “I just told him when you have guys back here for a second time, we’re not bringing guys back in that we don’t like,” Malone said yesterday. ”So Tony had a very good career at New Mexico and he’s played very well for us in the two times he’s been here.” Snell also got a chance to showcase his talents before the Kings’ new general manager. Pete D’Alessandro was not yet hired when the Kings brought the veteran small forward in for a workout two weeks ago. “All the guys that he didn’t see prior to him being here, the guys that kind of struck a chord with us that were really appealing to us, he wants to get a look (at) as well (and) bring them back in,” Malone said of D’Alessandro. ”And this is Tony’s second workout, he did great a job again today. Obviously, he’s got a very bright future ahead of himself.”’s Chad Ford has reported that the Kings could shake up the draft and are very high on Snell and Michigan’s Tim Hardaway Jr., another player they worked out yesterday. However, both young men are currently far from being considered in the No. 7 range. Most mock drafts have Snell and Hardaway Jr. projected as late first-rounders or early second-round draft picks. Cowbell Kingdom

6/20/2013 – Bill Russell compares Popovich to Red Auerbach: Duncan, the 36-year old who sparked this Spurs renaissance by reviving his game this season, has had approximately 120 teammates in all. More importantly, he had a coach in Gregg Popovich who has always found a way to make the pieces around him work, well beyond the likes of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. “(Late Celtics coach Red) Auerbach had a system where there’s a place for every kind of player,” Russell said. “Never once in the years he coached that I was there did I ever hear him say to a player, ‘You have to change this.’ He said my job as a coach is to figure out what you do, and find a place in the system.” It’s not all that different than what Popovich has been able to do with the Spurs, making the most of role players like Steve Kerr, Brent Barry, Bruce Bowen in the past and Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Matt Bonner in the present. Asked if he saw similarities between the Celtics’ Red Auerbach and Popovich, Russell agreed. USA Today

6/20/2013 – Clips-Celtics talks back on: The Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics reopened trade talks Wednesday and have quickly made progress toward separate transactions that ultimately would send both Celtics star forward Kevin Garnett and coach Doc Rivers to Los Angeles, according to sources close to the process. Sourcesalso told on Thursday that it has been communicated to both teams that the league has questions about the proposed transactions involving Garnett and Rivers and the appearance that they are connected. League rules not only prohibit coaches from being traded but likewise prevent teams from making any trade or free-agent signing with contingencies or side deals attached. So it is incumbent on the Celtics and Clippers to convince the league office that these transactions are being made independently. ESPN

6/20/2013 – Despite injury, Len still projected to be top-five pick in the NBA draft: Former Terrapins men’s basketball center Alex Len had relied on those mammoth crutches for transportation for two months until Tuesday, when he was cleared to walk on his own for the first time since undergoing surgery in early May to stabilize a partial stress fracture in his left ankle. But that hasn’t stopped the 7-foot-1 Ukrainian from preparing for the NBA draft, to be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., on June 27. Len has traveled across the country visiting teams for personal interviews and works out six days a week with Terps basketball performance director Kyle Tarp. “Of course I was upset. You don’t want to have injuries [before the draft],” said Len, whom Sports Illustrated and DraftExpress project as a top-five pick. “But I’m not worried about it. I am still trying to get better, still able to work out.” Though Len’s left foot remains in a walking boot, he can lift weights, shoot from a chair and work on his reflexes. Plus, he can display his mental makeup in interviews with coaches and executives. Diamondback Online

6/20/2013 – Cavs shying away from Noel: By the time this week concludes, the Cavaliers should have a clear plan regarding the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft. All five candidates under consideration will visit Cleveland Clinic Courts this week, including Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel today. Most mock drafts around the country project the Cavs to select Noel, but sources within the organization seem cool on him. Noel played in just 24 games because of a left knee injury his freshman year and his offensive skills are limited. He has spent time during his rehab working on his shooting. Akron Beacon Journal

I think the Cavs would be making a huge mistake if they pass on my boy Nelens. – FB

6/20/2013 – With his stock dropping, Mitchell has some convincing to do: This is the part where Tony Mitchell puts his mind on display. His physical gifts have never been in doubt. Physical gifts are why Mitchell began his sophomore season at North Texas as a lottery possibility and are now the reason he still has a good shot at the first round of the Draft — despite his best efforts at playing his way out of guaranteed money. “He’s the best athlete here,” is how one general manager described Mitchell at the Chicago pre-Draft combine a couple weeks ago, a gathering of most of the top prospects. “It’s not even close. He’s a freak of nature.” Now Mitchell, given the chance to pass blame the way a lot of prospects would have, has decided to go with honesty. The effort last season? Lacking.Understanding that NBA teams are skeptical after the 2012-13 showing? Absolutely. Admitting it could force him down into the second round? Even that. Mitchell readily admits that he gave into the gloom of a 12-20 season at UNT and a coaching change, when the proper response would have been to fight through it.

6/20/2013 – Jerry Sloan is back with the Utah Jazz: The Hall of Fame coach has been hired in a front-office position by the team he led to two NBA Finals and coached for 23 years. The 71-year-old Sloan will take on a role of senior basketball adviser, mostly helping out with scouting on the professional and college ranks, among other duties. “In my new role with the Jazz franchise, I hope to help the basketball operations staff and Ty (Corbin) in any way that I can to achieve their goals,” Sloan said in a statement released by the team’s PR staff. “I would like to thank the Miller family for the opportunity to be part of the organization again.” Desert News

About freaking time! – FB


6/19/2013 – Raptors name Bobby Webster VP of Basketball Management & Strategy:The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they have named Bobby Webster as the club’s Vice President, Basketball Management & Strategy. Webster joins the Raptors after working for the NBA league office in New York for the past seven seasons, most recently in the role of Associate Director, Salary Cap Management. “I am delighted to have Bobby join our basketball operations team,” said Masai Ujiri, Raptors President and General Manager, Basketball Operations. “His skill set will be valuable in a number of areas, and his experience and knowledge of the CBA and its complexities from a League level will be a great asset to the organization.”

6/19/2013 – Game 6 has fourth-highest rating in ABC history:Miami’s overtime comeback against the Spurs in Tuesday’s Game 6 of the NBA Finals earned the fourth-highest overnight rating in ABC history. The only games with better ratings than last night’s 14.7 were:Boston/L.A. Lakers, 2012 Game 7, 18.2 L.A. Lakers/Detroit, 2004 Game 5, 15.5 Miami/Dallas, 2011 Game 6 in 2011, 15.0 The game scored a 47.6 rating in San Antonio and a 35.4 in Miami. It also generated 8.03 million posts on Twitter, accounting for nearly 80 percent of the television-related conversation on the social media site. San Antonio Express-News

6/19/2013 – Clippers and Celtics end talks on Doc Rivers deal:The drama between the Clippers and Boston Celtics is over — at least for now. Both teams declared Tuesday that they had called off talks for a potential blockbuster deal that could have brought Boston Coach Doc Rivers and power forward Kevin Garnett to Los Angeles. But even with both sides saying they’d had their last conversation about the complicated deal, several NBA executives said it won’t truly be over until the Clippers actually hire a coach who is not named Doc Rivers. The executives spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. Los Angeles Times

6/19/2013 – Pop being second-guessed for late game decisions:The Spurs like to switch off picks in those moments, like to be fluid and versatile, and Gregg Popovich is not a man prone to variation or sentimentality. So for the final two Miami possessions of the fourth quarter, Duncan was out. Seconds later, a LeBron James shot bounced off the rim and high in the air. There were gasps from the crowd. Everything was floating in the balance when Chris Bosh, who Duncan had owned all night, leaped, grabbed the ball and kicked it to Ray Allen. San Antonio could’ve tried to foul in an instant, giving Allen two free throws rather than the 3-pointer that forced overtime and will go down in Finals lore. But Popovich has an answer to that foul rather than defend strategy. “We don’t,” the coach said. Yahoo!Sports

6/19/2013 – Pierre Jackson cancels pre-draft workouts to rest sore knee: There is still some swelling, so as a precautionary measure, Jackson has been advised to give his knee time to heal. “Pierre has a minor acute patella injury to his left knee,” Bryant sent in a statement. “He needs nothing more than two to three weeks of rest, which is unfortunate because he wanted to complete his workouts. He is looking forward to being 100 percent ready for summer workouts. We are making his MRI available to teams to confirm that all he needs is rest.” Jackson was scheduled to work out for the Portland Trail Blazers, owners of picks No. 10, 39, 40, 45, on Monday. However, due to his situation, he flew into town and had a meeting with Trail Blazers’ brass on Tuesday and is expected to meet with a few more teams before the NBA Draft on June 27.

6/19/2013 – Detroit’s Doug Anderson gets air time in NBA 2K14 video game: Detroit forward and NBA hopeful Doug Anderson has spent hours playing the NBA 2K video game. When NBA 2K14 is released in October, Anderson will be able watch images of himself. Anderson, a 6-5 forward who turned heads when he won the NCAA dunk contest during Final Four weekend, said the opportunity to be a part of NBA 2K was too good to pass up. Some of his moves and dunks were used in creating the game. “I’m real excited for this,” he said. “(NBA 2K) is as close to the NBA as you can get. The more and more they did, the better they got. “This is big for me. I wasn’t coming from a big school. The dunk contest helped, especially how things are going good for me now.” Detroit News

6/19/2013 – Heats fan missed when amazing happened: LeBron James called Game 6 “by far the best game I’ve ever been a part of.” But for a large number of Heat fans, they didn’t see the end of it. With 28 seconds to go, Manu Ginobili stole an errant James pass and took off for the other end. He drew a foul, split the free throws and put the Spurs up 94-89. And in piles like something out of a World War Z trailer, Heat fans hit the exits. “It was kind of sad,” one Heat fan who stayed told me. “But those who stayed saw one of the greatest games ever.”Indeed they did. James hit a 3, Kawhi Leonard made one of two from the line, and after a Chris Bosh offensive rebound, Ray Allen hit a corner 3 to force overtime. Just like that, the Spurs’ fifth championship was put on hold and the Heat had another five minutes to save their season. The scene was described to me by one arena worker as “crazy.” Hundreds of fans were pounding on the glass doors begging to be let back in. Police actually came over to stabilize the situation as some were getting quite upset, apparently. One worker expressed actual worry and there was a bit of fear because of the aggressiveness some were showing.

Silly Heat fans need to learn to stay in their seats until the game is over! Just because your weather is fair in South Beach, doesn’t mean you have to a fair-weather fan. – FB

6/19/2013 – Do you want to wotk for the Bobcats: So to every Charlotte Bobcats fan who has said, “Hey, I could run that front office as well as those guys…’’ Here’s your start, so long as you have a computer-science degree, are willing to work long hours and can respond to obscure requests on the quick. The Bobcats are searching for a “Basketball Operations System Developer,’’ which sounds a lot like how general manager Rich Cho got his start in the NBA. The Bobcats need someone with a whole lot of computer experience and an appreciation for advanced basketball statistics. And you must be confidential (like, don’t tell the Observer who they’ll draft with the fourth pick next week). Here’s the link to the job ad. Charlotte Observer

MJ could use all the help he can get. – FB


6/18/2013 – Westbrook uses Vine to annouce he is off crutches: Unable to play basketball this offseason, Russell Westbrook has taken up Vine as a mini-hobby.Last week, he made some six-second clips on the social media video service, covering a pair of Taylor Swift songs. And now, via Vine, he has announced a fairly large stepping stone in his rehab process from knee surgery. Westbrook is off crutches, proclaiming ‘I’m back’. Oklahoman

6/18/2013 – Noel confident he will return stronger: Topping the list of negatives is the fact Noel underwent surgery on his left knee in mid-March and is not expected to play until around Christmas, at the earliest. “The key is he hurt the same knee in high school,” said Ryan Blake, the NBA’s senior director of scouting. “You don’t know what’s going to happen with him. He’s not going to be in the summer league, he’s not going to be in the preseason and he may not be there in the season.”Noel, who turned 19 on April 10, was extremely confident he would make a full recovery and come back better than ever when interviewed at the NBA Draft Combine in mid-May. Exactly when he will come back, however, is uncertain. Noel will reportedly be in town to meet with the Cavs on Thursday, at which time the team’s medical staff will likely attempt to learn as much as possible about his knee. “I’m 100 percent confident in not just gaining what I had, but being stronger and coming back better,” Noel said at the combine. “I’ll be working on a lot of things I needed to polish. I think it’s going to help me in the long run. Medina County Gazette

6/18/2013 – Jason Collins: ‘You can’t stereotype what it means to be gay’: Jason Collins, who first came out publicly in Sports Illustrated, has been in the NBA since 2001. He is now a free agent, but didn’t want to join his new team while still in the closet. He said the response has been overwhelmingly positive. “One teammate said to me, ‘I’m a grown man, Jay. I don’t care,” Collins said. “If this is how it’s going to be with everyone, it’s going to be awesome.” The biggest change in Collins since coming out was that he isn’t stressed by keeping his secret.”It was about telling my story in my own words. I don’t have that stress any more.” Though he is the first openly gay active athlete in the major sports, he isn’t the only gay athlete still playing. Robbie Rogers in the MLS, Brittney Griner in the WNBA and Liz Carmouche in the UFC are a few of the athletes who are at the top of their game and openly gay. Yahoo! Sports

6/18/2013 – Allen Iverson returns children to their mother: Former NBA superstar Allen Iverson has returned his kids to their mother … and insists he was NEVER holding them hostage in the first place … at least that’s what A.I. claimed in court last week. We broke the story … Iverson’s ex-wife filed court docs insisting Allen had all 5 of their kids holed up at an Atlanta hotel and refused to hand them over to their mother on the designated swap date. But TMZ has learned … Allen appeared in Fulton County court in Georgia last Wednesday and told the judge his ex-wife had full access to their kids during their stay at the hotel … and therefore he wasn’t doing anything wrong. We’re told Tawanna also testified that she could have picked up the children from Allen but didn’t want to drive 45 minutes to his location. TMZ


6/17/2013 – Danny Green sets NBA Finals record: Green hit six three-pointers in San Antonio’s 114-104 victory over Miami on Sunday, helping to deliver a 3-2 series lead as the teams head back to South Florida for Game 6 on Tuesday. His remarkable three-point run now includes 25 makes through the first five games, already an NBA record. He’s an unconscious 25-for-38 (65.8 percent) from deep in the Finals, yet somehow still manages to find sufficient daylight to launch. “I can’t believe he’s still open at this moment in the series,” Spurs point guard Tony Parker said after Game 5. “They are still trapping me and doubling [Tim Duncan], and Danny is wide open. He’s shooting the ball well. If you are going to leave Danny wide open, he’s going to make threes.”

6/17/2013 – Scouts compare Anthony Bennet to Larry Johnson: “He’s one of the most versatile players around. He’s a guy that can play in the post. He can play a little bit on the wing. In college, at 6-8, 240 he was able to play two positions because he has that versatility. He shoots 38 percent from behind the arc. Although he takes 25 percent of his shots from deep, he had to play in the post. The question is if he’s going to be able to guard small forwards. . . . But he’s so versatile. He can rebound. He can block shots. He can pass the ball as well. He can be one of the better players in a few years that comes out of this draft because of that. “A lot of people ask, ‘Does he remind you in a way of Larry Johnson?’ Yes, in a way, he does. Not just because he’s from UNLV. Because he has that versatility as a big man. Orlando Sentinal

The question is how does he look in a dress? – FB

6/17/2013 – Spurs “coaching tree” keeps growing: Mike Brown, the newly rehired Cleveland Cavaliers coach, and Jacque Vaughn, the Orlando Magic coach, were San Antonio assistants under Popovich. So was P. J. Carlesimo, the interim coach for the Nets this season. New Orleans Pelicans Coach Monty Williams played three years with San Antonio and was an intern during the 2004-5 season, when the Spurs won a title. Avery Johnson, a former coach of the Dallas Mavericks and the Nets, and Vinny Del Negro, recently dismissed as coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, played for Popovich. Examples abound in team front offices, too. Sam Presti (Oklahoma City Thunder), Dell Demps (New Orleans) and Kevin Pritchard (Indiana Pacers) are general managers who, like Ferry, once worked under Buford. “The success we’ve had on the court in the playoffs is great,” Budenholzer said, “but where Pop and I, and all of us, get just as big of a kick is watching people go out and be successful. We love it.” New York Times

6/17/2013 – Alvin Williams fired by Raptors new CEO: In what I think is a terribly short-sighted move that will rankle as many people as anything he does, Leiweke has told Alvin Williams that his services are no longer required. Yep, the chief executive officer of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment – on the job for less than a month – has jettisoned one of the great guys ever associated with the franchise and a man who wanted nothing more than to spend his entire career with the organization in some way, shape or form. Alvin had spent last season scouting for the team, based out of Philadelphia, but he was far, far more than just an employee picking up a cheque. He loved the organization and the city, he was a link to some of the best times the team has ever had, he is a great guy who’d show up every now and then and sooth some antsy players, offer a unique perspective and be a valued confidant to many. Fired. Not by the general manager who never spoke to him, but by a CEO who seems hellbent on getting his fingers in every decision at some level. Toronto Star

6/17/2013 – Chris Paul has Michael Jacksons original nose: Paul got a chance to exact a bit of revenge against one Twitter basher during a segment on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! this week. During the bit, Kimmel got a number of NBA stars to read mean tweets about themselves on camera. Paul made a cameo with Clippers teammate Blake Griffin and read joke a fan had posted about him. The joke — “Has anyone noticed that Chris Paul has Michael Jackson’s original nose?” — drew chuckles from Griffin, although Paul tried to play it off as if he wasn’t amused.As it turns out, the tweet was penned by a Mavericks fan who was apparently upset after Paul helped the Clippers knock off the Mavs this year. The fan, who goes by the Twitter handle @undertaker594, took to Twitter to issue a light-hearted apology… and added another quick jab about Paul’s “potato nose.” Dallas Morning News

I would like like to hear what Lil Chris has to say about this. – FB

6/17/2013 – Allen Iverson kidnapping scandal: Former NBA star Allen Iverson has abducted his own children … so says his ex-wife, and now she’s begging the court to force Allen to give them back. Tawanna Iverson just filed legal docs, claiming Allen recently asked for permission to take their five kids on a short vacation to Charlotte, NC from May 22nd-May 26th (and Tawanna agreed) but when May 26th rolled around, the children hadn’t been returned. The kids range in age from 3 to 16 years old. In the docs, Tawanna says she tried to set up an exchange on June 4th at a neutral location — a nearby Target store — but A.I. never showed up. Tawanna — who has sole legal and primary physical custody of their children — now believes Allen never took their kids to Charlotte at all … and is currently keeping them at a Sheraton hotel in Georgia. Tawanna claims she’s especially concerned because Allen’s an alcoholic who drinks around their kids. TMZ

Maybe he just wanted to see them for fathers day….can’t wait to see this on 30 For 30. – FB

6/14/2013 – KKK and crickets kept Ewing out of UNC: Ewing appeared on “The Dan Patrick Show” and explained why he didn’t head to Chapel Hill. “You know, I was close [to attending UNC]. I was close. North Carolina was a very good school but, you know, when I went down there they put me in that Carolina Inn and there was a big Ku Klux Klan rally in North Carolina when I was there,” Ewing said. “And I’m like, ‘You know what? I’m not coming down here. I’m staying my butt back in Boston.'” “So the reason why you didn’t go (to UNC), or the major reason, is the KKK had a rally going on at the time?” Patrick asked. “Big rally man. I was like… They stuck me in that Carolina Inn. And at night down in North Carolina it gets pitch black and I hear all the crickets and I’m jumping, I’m like ‘what the heck?’ I said, ‘Nah, I’m going home.'” New York Daily News

6/14/2013 – Kidd introduced as Nets’ 18th head coach: Jason Kidd learned a lot on his journey. He learned accountability from Rick Carlisle. He learned offensive ingenuity from Danny Ainge. He learned preparation from Lawrence Frank. Yes, he learned how to do a lot of things. And he also learned how not to do a lot of the same stuff. “The biggest thing is you have to be prepared. Players can sense when someone’s not prepared. And you have to communicate. Those are some of the things offhand,” Kidd said Thursday when he was officially presented as the Nets’ choice to succeed P.J. Carlesimo as the 18th coach in the franchise’s NBA history, a first time coach who is inheriting not a rebuilding mess but a playoff unit. Kidd seemed to be counting the days until he can implement what he has learned to do — and avoid — as a coach in nearly two decades of sure bet Hall of Fame brilliance. New York Post

6/14/2013 – Walsh ‘disappointed’ Nets didn’t hire Shaw: The Nets head coaching search eventually filtered down to two candidates, Jason Kidd and Indiana Pacers assistant Brian Shaw, said general manager Billy King. In actuality at the end, there was only one, Kidd, even while Shaw went through a lengthy interview on Wednesday. “I’m disappointed because I did not speak to Billy directly but I did give him permission to talk to him and wrote him a note letting him know what I thought [about Shaw],” said Pacers president of basketball operations Donnie Walsh Thursday. “He’s going to be a great head coach. Great head coach.” New York Post

6/14/2013 – George Karl fires back at Josh Kroenke: Upon being fired last week, Nuggets coach George Karl told team president Josh Kroenke, “I think I should tell you, I think it’s very stupid.” The controversial firing of the reigning NBA coach of the year has led to much debate in Denver. On Thursday afternoon, Karl sat down with The Denver Post and discussed an array of topics, including his firing, his future (possibly landing with the Memphis Grizzlies or the Los Angeles Clippers) and the future of the Nuggets, a team he believes could have won 55 games next season, even with Danilo Gallinari out for much of the season due to knee surgery. “I’m not going to stand here and justify my (playoff) record,” Karl said, but he believed the franchise was on an upward tick, “and to blow that away, it leaves you helpless, speechless, powerless, sad, a lot of words.” “We won 57 games and are in a great place. Continuity, consistency, togetherness all are so much more valuable than what they have on their priority list of playing JaVale McGee or the young players. And first of all, it shouldn’t be that I didn’t play young players. It’s I didn’t play young players enough, because we played a lot of young players —Kenneth Faried, Kosta Koufos, Evan Fournier at the end of the year, and Ty Lawson. Denver Post

6/14/2013 – Metta World Peace falls to toddler Titus Ashby: Appearing Thursday night on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” the Lakers forward was out-shot by Ashby, 11-6, in a 30-second competition. World Peace shot on a hoop that was 6 feet, 7 inches high; Ashby’s was set at 3 feet.”I’ve never been nervous in my life, but this kid makes me nervous,” joked World Peace before their free-throw battle. Ashby previously tied Kobe Bryant in a pre-taped segment (prior to Bryant’s Achilles injury), with four points apiece. He also beat Shaquille O’Neal and Kimmel in earlier episodes. World Peace was a good sport in defeat, presenting Ashby with one of his No. 15 Lakers jerseys. Los Angeles Times

This kid needs some real competition like Danny Green. – FB

6/14/2013 – Kobe and Kimmel get together for charity event: Kobe Bryant will sit down with late night host Jimmy Kimmel for a conversation at the Nokia Theatre on Aug. 15 to raise money toward eliminating homelessness in the Los Angeles area. “Kobe Up Close” will feature Bryant talking about his career and sharing some of his favorite stories with Kimmel. Tickets for the event range from $25 to $200. All proceeds will benefit the Kobe & Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation. Minneapolis Star Tribune

6/14/2013 – Deck collapses at Miami sports bar: A packed outdoor deck behind a popular Miami-area sports bar partially collapsed during the NBA Finals on Thursday night, sending dozens of patrons into the shallow waters of Biscayne Bay. Miami-Dade Fire Chief David Downey said 24 people were taken to area hospitals. Many had cuts and bruises, although one person suffered a fracture, a fire official said. Two people were in serious condition. Authorities said about 100 people were on the deck of Shuckers Bar & Grill in North Bay Village, north of Miami Beach, when it gave way. Sports bar customers — and later rescuers — helped people from the water amid yelling, crying and a rush to find people who might be submerged. ESPN


6/12/2013 – Shaq calls out Dwight Howard…..again: “He’s too nice,” O’Neal said Tuesday on “The Max and Marcellus Show” on ESPNLA 710. “I’m a connoisseur of giggling and playing and all that and making you laugh and playing with the fans, but when I cross that line, I’m ready to tear your face off. I don’t care who it is. You could put one of my aunts or uncles out there, and I’m going to give him these elbows in their chest and I’m going to throw it down in their face. That’s what you have to do. … He’s just too nice. If I was him, I would get into the same mood I was in.” Howard has followed a similar path in the NBA as O’Neal. He was the former No. 1 pick of the Orlando Magic and led Orlando to the NBA Finals before taking his “Superman” act to Hollywood to join the Los Angeles Lakers. Howard, however, is considering leaving Los Angeles as a free agent this summer. ESPN

Tell us how you really feel Shaq. – FB

6/12/2013 – Still unclear if Melo needs surgery: The Daily News reported last month that Anthony suffered a partially torn labrum late in the regular season. The initial plan was to see if the injury will heal without surgery and re-evaluate it after three weeks. It’s been 23 days since the original diagnosis, and the fact that Anthony is still receiving treatment could be seen as a positive sign. Surgery could sideline Anthony, who finished third in the MVP voting, for up to three months. Anthony played the entire postseason — all 12 games — with a damaged shoulder. New York Daily News

His shoulder hurts from chucking all those shots up. – FB

6/12/2013 – Clippers interview Byron Scott: As the Clippers continued their search for a new coach, former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Byron Scott was the latest candidate to interview for the job Tuesday, according to several NBA executives who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. Scott met with Clippers President Andy Roeser, vice president of basketball operations Gary Sacks and director of basketball operations Eric Miller at the team’s practice facility. “The interview went very well,” according to one executive. Scott talked to the Clippers on the heels of Indiana associate head coach Brian Shaw having his face-to-face with the team’s front office Monday, according to several executives. Los Ageles Times

I miss Vinny Del Negro and his magical head of hair already. – FB

6/12/2013 – Nets closing in on Kidd: Call it due diligence. Call it courtesy. Call it whatever, but the Nets still intend to meet with Pacers assistant Brian Shaw today regarding the team’s head coaching position. So call that meeting anything, but still call Jason Kidd the leading candidate for the job. Kidd could not possibly earn that lofty status without the blessings of Nets ownership that he has earned, according to several persons close to the situation. “The Russians are on board,” one of those persons claimed. By retiring without a buyout, Kidd became free to seek a coaching job, leaving $6 million on the table. Yahoo! Sports reported the Nets were already in contract talks with Kidd. New York Post

“The Russians are on board” is now my new favorite quote. – FB

6/12/2013 – Maurice Cheeks called worst Blazers coach ever: When I heard that Maurice Cheeks had landed another job as a head coach in the NBA, my instant reaction, quite honestly, was:”HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!” Followed by, “HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!” Yes, really. This time it was the Detroit Pistons who were casual or naive enough in their job search to hire the man whom I consider, hands down, to be the worst coach in Trail Blazer history and probably one of the worst I’ve ever seen in the NBA. And while it’s possible that no quality coach would accept that Detroit job, the Pistons could have done so much better. What’s wrong with Cheeks, you say? Well, I’ve covered the NBA since the days when Jack Ramsay was roaming the Blazer sidelines in paisley pants. And I don’t think since that time I’ve seen a coach as poorly informed, as casual about his duties and as lazy as Cheeks. NBA head coach? He should have been charged with identity theft.

6/12/2013 – $250K bond set for ‘Mookie’ Blaylock: Daron “Mookie” Blaylock appeared in court Tuesday on charges of vehicular homicide, driving on a suspended license, making an improper lane change and crossing the median in the head-on crash from May 31. The crash killed a 43-year-old woman. Blaylock’s attorney has said his client blacked out just before the crash, and police say drugs and alcohol didn’t appear to be a factor. ESPN

6/12/2013 – Kevin Durants Instagram account hacked: “I was hacked” is often the go-to defense for any athlete or celebrity who says something stupid on social media, but it does happen. Kevin Durant is the latest victim, and from the looks of it, all the hacker did was plug his Twitter handle in KD’s bio. The culprit is keeping a low profile on Twitter. His page is pretty nondescript, although the “I do it for the good of the people” line in his bio is a little weird. For The Win

6/12/2013 – Parker questionable for Game 4: So much for basking in the glow of their Game 3 win over the Miami Heat. The San Antonio Spurs will spent the next two days on edge now that Tony Parker’s status is in question. The point guard who has been their driving force all season long suffered a right hamstring injury early in the second half and will have an MRI on Wednesday to determine his status for Game 4 on Thursday in San Antonio. And with all due respect to the breakout star of the night, backup point guard Gary Neal, there’s simply no way the Spurs can finish this job and win their fifth title without Parker. USA Today


6/11/13 – Patrick Ewing and Michael Jordan are finally teammates…on the Bobcats: And you thought that you would never see the day that Patrick Ewing and Michael Jordan would put on the same uniform…well, maybe now only during a Bobcats practice.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:Hall of Fame center Patrick Ewing has reached agreement to become the associate head coach for the Charlotte Bobcats, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Ewing will join the coaching staff of new Bobcats head coach Steve Clifford. Ewing and Clifford have a strong professional and personal history together. That’s right folks, Ewing is just one step away from the head-coach position that he has been seeking for a long time. That is of course Clifford gets fired. But I am really glad for former New York Knicks center that had first been tortured by a lack of an NBA title, and then by a long and winding road down the assistant coach valley. Artem Altman Baller Mind Frame

Pretty sure this is to make up for all the playoff losses. – FB

6/11/2013 – Noel will visit with the Wizards on Saturday: The Wizards have the third selection in the June 27 draft but are expected to be the second team to host Noel, who already met with the Orlando Magic on June 2 and will visit the Cleveland Cavaliers on June 20. The 6-foot-11 Noel could become the third Kentucky player to go first overall in the past four NBA drafts, joining John Wall and Anthony Davis, after averaging 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.4 blocks in his one season under Coach John Calipari. But several scouts and executive have speculated that Noel could also slide. During the NBA combine in Chicago last month, Noel weighed in at 206 pounds and he is also recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, raising concerns about his durability and strength inside. Washington Post

Noel to the Wizards might actually make some sense. – FB

6/11/2013 – Eva Longoria taunt shut down by Miami Heat: Somebody brought Heat fans the heads of Eva Longoria for Sunday’s Game 2 of the NBA Finals. Then, security collected those heads after a few minutes. The reason for Longoria’s head on a stick? A potential distraction for San Antonio star point guard and Longoria ex-husband Tony Parker when he got to the free-throw line. Memphis fans carried the oversized Longoria heads during their team’s Western Conference final loss to San Antonio. Though some members of the Heat Xtreme Team pep squad helped distribute the Parker-targeted props Sunday, the Heat said this wasn’t a team production at all. Heat spokesman Tim Donovan said: “Someone who paid to go attend the game [at AmericanAirlines Arena] brought them and were handing them out. He asked members of the Xtreme Team to hand them out, which they did. Until we saw what was going on, then we stopped it. We said, ‘No, we’re not doing this.’ ” Miami Herald

Stopping this was the worst idea ever! – FB

6/11/2013 – The 2013 NBA Canada Series brings Celtics vs Timberwolves game to Montreal: The National Basketball Association (NBA) will hold its second annual NBA Canada Series when the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves play a preseason game at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, on October 20. The NBA Canada Series, which tipped off for the first time last season with a game between the Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks in Montreal and the Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons in Winnipeg, will once again celebrate basketball with live NBA action, interactive fan events, and community outreach programs designed to develop the game in Canada.

6/11/2013 – Denver assistant Melvin Hunt interests the Sixers: The 76ers are considering talking to Denver assistant Melvin Hunt about their coaching job, but they might have to fend off the Nuggets. Denver is believed to be interested in promoting Hunt to replace George Karl, who was fired last week, league sources said Monday. “The Sixers have not formally made contact to begin the process, but there has been some talk through the back channels,” a source said. The Sixers have not sought permission from the Nuggets to speak with Hunt. Philadelphia Inquirer

6/11/2013 – Still unclear if Dario Saric will remain in the NBA Draft: All indications are that Croation small forward Dario Saric will withdraw from the draft before the June 17 deadline for international players. While his agent, Robert Jablan, told that the decision has been made, some teams are understandably wondering if this is an attempt to secure a promise. After all, Saric previously went from signaling he would stay in Europe to applying for the draft and now has turned around again about five weeks later despite no change in his standing with his stock still somewhere around the teens. One executive said chances are “about 99.9” Saric will jump out of the pool, meaning the NBA is not yet closing the door on 2013. Another said “It sure sounds like it,” when asked whether Saric is staying in Croatia. They’re waiting for 100 percent by June 17.

6/11/2013 – Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel draft stock falling: Might former Kentucky center Nerlens Noel still be available when the Charlotte Bobcats pick fourth on June 27? A player-personnel executive connected to a lottery team thinks that’s a real possibility, despite Noel often being listed as the first or second pick in various mock drafts. This executive, speaking on condition of anonymity because he’s not authorized to give pre-draft interviews, predicts the first three picks will be some order of Nevada-Las Vegas forward Anthony Bennett, Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore and Georgetown forward Otto Porter, Jr. That means the Bobcats might have access to Noel, a shotblocker who suffered a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament during his only college season. Noel can’t work out for teams leading up to the draft. He said at the draft combine in Chicago last month that he likely wouldn’t be ready to play before late December or January. Charlotte Observer

6/11/2013 – Rockets one of the three teams charged with tampering by the NBA: Rockets were fined today for tampering violations related to articles that appeared on the team website. Specifically, the articles were Jason Friedman’s free agency preview, where Friedman ran down the best 60 or 70 free agents that will hit the open market this summer. Those articles have since been taken down by the Rockets, but by looking at the cached version of the site, I was able to pull up all five, and I will try to give you a better idea of what the NBA deemed tampering. When you get down to reading the articles, you find that each one is extremely cautious not to mention how a player might fit with the Rockets, how interested that player might be in the Rockets, or how interested the Rockets might be in signing them. In fact, with a closer look, the Rockets are not mentioned at all. The Dream Shake

6/11/2013 – Team USA wants Rose on the roster: USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo suggested Monday the way is being cleared for Derrick Rose to return to USA Basketball for the 2014 basketball World Cup in Spain and the 2016 Olympics in South America. “Had he not been injured, he would have very likely been a member of the roster for the (2012) Olympics,” Colangelo said on a conference call to announce the additions of Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau and Pelicans coach Monty Williams as assistants to head coach Mike Krzyzewski for USA Basketball.

6/11/2013 – Hollins out as Grizzlies head coach: Lionel Hollins will not be back as coach of the Memphis Grizzlies next season.Lionel Hollins met six draft prospects Monday afternoon, and that was his last act as Grizzlies head coach. Hollins’ contract is scheduled to expire June 30 but the Griz have decided to go in a different direction because of “philosophical differences,” according to sources close to Griz management. Under Hollins, the Griz reached the Western Conference Finals after winning a franchise-record 56 games in the regular season. The franchise improved its record every season Hollins was coach. Memphis commercial Appeal

6/11/2013 – Kyrie Irving Helps Unveil NBA Live 14: During the EA Games presentation at E3 today, Cleveland Cavaliers star point guard Kyrie Irving came out on to the stage to help unveil the return of NBA Live 14. Of course, EA Sports had to be dramatic, so they used a slam poet to hype up the crowd and get the buzz going. Irving joined executive producer Sean O’Brien to help introduce the game and the new “Bounce Tech” system which makes ball handling the top priority. FanSided

6/11/2013 – 2-year-old takes on Kobe Bryant in shooting contest: Titus Ashby is an adorable 2-year-old from Kansas that challenges current and former NBA stars to shooting contests on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Similarly to Aaron Carter, little Titus beat Shaquille O’Neal 8-0, scoring all baskets in just 30 seconds. Titus had so much fun embarrassing Shaq that he decided to take on Kobe Bryant and see how he’d fare. They ended up tying, 4-4. Check the out the video. USA today

There was never any doubt in my mind a toddler can shoot better than Shaq. – FB

6/11/2013 – NBA teams fined for tampering: Three NBA teams have been fined for tampering, according to an internal league memo obtained by USA TODAY Sports. A person familiar with the fine said that one of the teams is the Atlanta Hawks. The person spoke on on the condition of anonymity because the fines haven’t been made public. The memo says the teams were fined because “The conduct at issue involved statements by a team employee to the media, a team email to prospective season ticket purchasers, and articles posted online on a team website, each related to players who are currently under contract to other teams but who will become free agents this summer.” USA Today

6/11/2013 – Kidd wants Lawrence Frank as his top assistant coach: Sources told that an element of Kidd’s plan would be hiring former Nets coach Lawrence Frank to serve as a top assistant coach. The presence of one or two assistant coaches with head-coaching experience on the bench is seen as a prerequisite for the Nets to seriously consider Kidd as a head coach candidate. Frank was fired in April after two seasons as coach of the Detroit Pistons. ESPN

6/11/2013 – The Knicks invite Tim Hardaway Jr. to work out: Meantime, the Knicks on Tuesday will work out former Michigan guard Tim Hardaway Jr., his agent, Mark Bartelstein, told The 6-6 Hardaway is projected by DraftExpress to go No. 25 to the L.A. Clippers. He also works out next week for the Cleveland Cavaliers (Monday), Boston Celtics (Thursday) and the Indiana Pacers (Friday). “He’s doing great,” Bartelstein said. “His value is sky-rocketing, to say the least. He’s done really, really well and there’s a ton of interest in him and he’s creating that because he’s done so well everywhere he’s gone.He’s really, really helped himself.”

6/11/2013 – Jim Boeheim, Tom Thibodeau, Monty Williams Selected USA Basketball Men’s National Team Assistant Coaches: USA Basketball and Syracuse University veteran coach Jim Boeheim, Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, and New Orleans Pelicans head coach and former USA Basketball player Monty Williams, today were announced as USA Basketball Men’s National Team assistant coaches for 2013-16 by USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo. USA Basketball announced on May 23 that Duke University’s Naismith Hall of Fame mentor Mike Krzyzewski, who directed the USA National Teams from 2006-2012 to a 62-1 overall record and back-to-back Olympic championships, would return to lead the USA National Team program for a third quadrennium. USA Baketball


6/10/2013 – Mookie out of the hospital and into police custody: Blaylock, 46, was released from the Atlanta Medical Center earlier today and, with the help of his attorney, surrendered to the Jonesboro police on charges stemming from last month’s fatal wreck. The former NBA All-Star was in pretty bad shape when he arrived at the police department. “You could tell Mr. Blaylock was experiencing some pain,” Jonesboro Police Chief, Franklin Allen, tells WSB. “He was still wearing his hospital wristband, he had a slight limp and he came into our facility with the help of a walker.” Blaylock, who made the All-Star team in 1994, is charged with vehicular homicide, driving on a suspended license, and other charges stemming from the May 31 wreck on Tara Boulevard. According to police, Blaylock’s car crossed the median and slammed, head on, into another vehicle, killing the passenger, Monica Murphy. WSB Radio

6/10/2013 – NBA approves new advertising areas: NBA teams, seeing the push for lucrative jersey advertising shelved, are getting two new areas inside their arenas as sources of revenue starting next season: on the court and atop the backboards. League officials have approved teams selling on-court advertising for the high-profile space in front of team benches as well as the camera-visible areas on top of the backboards. The courtside space had been limited to club brands. A league source said no specific valuation has been assigned to the new sales areas, but multiyear, multimillion-dollar deals are expected, with teams signing package deals that would provide an advertiser with visibility in both places. One team executive said the deals could range anywhere from mid-six figures to around $2 million annually, acknowledging that the value of the signage will vary widely by market.Until now, the league had mandated that these areas be limited to team branding. NBA teams, seeing the push for lucrative jersey advertising shelved, are getting two new areas inside their arenas as sources of revenue starting next season: on the court and atop the backboards. Sports Business Daily

6/10/2013 LeBron James is no Michael Jordan, and vice versa: Michael Jordan was never a decoy. Maybe in his final days with Washington when he was bloated and sleepy looking, but not in his prime, and never under the bright lights of the NBA Finals. So once and for all, can we please stop the Jordan-LeBron James comparisons that have gone on way too long? Miami’s 103-84 laugher in Sunday night’s Game 2 against the Spurs was the final piece of hard evidence that those comparisons should have ended before they even began years ago. But no. We have to put everything in a box. We have to compartmentalize in order to explain something we have never seen before. It fuels the talk-show banter, makes the barbershop chatter interesting. James is not Jordan. Never has been. It’s disrespectful to Jordan’s legacy and it’s unfair to the legacy that James is building. Chicago Sun-Times

6/10/2013 – Kelly Olynyk has the size and skill OKC covets: He’s 7-feet tall … and he can score. We know what you’re thinking. Say no more. Sign him up. These days, it doesn’t seem to matter who it is. Those two attributes — size and scoring — have become so desperately desired by Thunder fans that most will give almost anything to see them come to Oklahoma City. And that’s why so many have their eyes set on Kelly Olynyk, a projected lottery pick in this year’s NBA Draft from Gonzaga.Olynyk, who is listed as a 7-foot center, averaged 18.1 points on 63.1 percent shooting in his junior season. He led the Bulldogs to a 32-3 record this season, 16-0 run through the West Coast Conference and Gonzaga’s first No. 1 ranking in school history. “He is one guy that is not afraid to make a play,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few told the Toronto Star in January. “He is multitalented in regards that he can drive it comfortably. He can pass it and … he can shoot it.” Olynyk’s offensive versatility is what makes him so intriguing. Oklahoman

6/10/2013 – Freshly retired Kidd says Cuban reached out to him: It appears the frigid Mark Cuban-Jason Kidd relationship has warmed somewhat in the aftermath of Kidd’s Monday announcement that he is retiring after 19 NBA seasons. During a call-in appearance on 105.3 The Fan’s Gavin & Chris “GBag Nation” show Tuesday evening, Kidd said Cuban sent him an email, congratulating him on his career and retirement. “Yeah, Cube reached out and sent me a nice note,” Kidd said. “Cube is one of if not the best owner in sports and we were lucky to be with him when we won that championship.” It remains to be seen whether their relationship is entirely patched, but the fact that Cuban and Kidd exchanged emails is newsworthy. Cuban was upset that free-agent Kidd last summer verbally agreed to a three-year contract to remain in Dallas, then changed his mind and signed with the Knicks. An admittedly angry Cuban said last summer that he was sure he would get over Kidd’s about-face at some point, but “as of now, I wouldn’t put J. Kidd’s number in the rafters.” Dallas Morning News

6/10/2013 – 76ers to name new coach after NBA draft: According to two sources with knowledge of the 76ers’ search for a coach, Sam Hinkie, president of basketball operations and general manager, probably won’t name a coach until after the June 27 draft.One Houston-based source said Hinkie “will probably find a coach after the draft.” The source also said that Hinkie believes that the coach “is secondary in the process because [Hinkie] will have an idea of what type of players” the Sixers will need to select. Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News

It’s never a good idea to go through with the draft not having a coach yet… – FB

6/10/2013 – Pistons must end culture of backstabbing: That’s the word that’s being leaked as the Pistons appear to have settled on their man, Maurice Cheeks. And barring a change of heart or a breakdown in negotiations, that’s the word we’ll undoubtedly hear whenever Cheeks is officially introduced as the franchise’s next coach. It has to be, given the widespread perception that the previous coach, Lawrence Frank, wasn’t really Joe Dumars’ first choice the last time. (Sometimes perception is reality, by the way.) It has to be, even if Nate McMillan was Dumars’ No. 1 choice this time, as many around the NBA believed at the start of this latest coaching search. And it has to be, after that silly public-relations stunt Pistons ownership pulled last month, touting Phil Jackson’s brief consulting gig at the expense of the one guy in the front office with multiple championship rings of his own. The Detroit News

6/10/2013 – Obama likes Stanford grad’s hoops revolution theory: Obama wanted to hear more, so Khosla spent a few minutes giving a quick demonstration of the software created by Ayasdi, the Palo Alto-based start-up that uses topology to find value in complex data. Khosla and Alagappan, who started at Ayasdi as interns, used that data to suggest that basketball’s traditional positions are outdated. “He was pretty intrigued, pretty analytical about it and asked a lot of questions,” Khosla, 20, said. “He had good instincts and caught on quick to the nuances of what we were trying to do.”I was very impressed with his passion for basketball and his basketball knowledge.” Khosla said that Obama was particularly intrigued that their proposed redefinition of positions underscored why it worked fine when, say, two traditional small forwards wereon the floor at the same time.”The example that came up was of Shane Battier and LeBron both being classified as small forwards and how different their playing styles are,” Khosla said. “We actually located them in the network and saw that they were practically on opposite sides of the graph.” Contra Costa Times

6/10/2013 –Drazen Petrovic remembered on 20-year anniversary of his tragic death: June 7, 2013 marks the 20-year anniversary of a tragic day for not just the NBA, but the global basketball community. It’s the day Drazen Petrovic died. Petrovic, who was a member of the New Jersey Nets at the time, was in the passenger seat of a car being driven by his girlfriend, Klara Szalantzy. A disabled vehicle blocked all lanes on a high-speed highway and while a driver tried to warn them, there wasn’t enough time to stop. Petrovic was killed, another passenger was gravely injured. Szalantzy went on to marry German striker Oliver Bierhoff. The Oregonian

If you never saw him play check out the highlights below, kid was nice – FB

6/10/2013 – Rockets target Howard and Paul: Dwight Howard will not be the only object of the Rockets’ free-agent affections, and the Los Angeles Lakers center has not been the only subject of their intensive preparations for next month’s sales pitches. Howard has generated by far the most attention as a Rockets free-agent target, but the team plans a similar and simultaneous pursuit of Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul, a person with knowledge of the Rockets’ thinking said. According to another individual familiar with the team’s plans, “they are targets No. 1 and 1A.” Houston Chronicle

6/10/2013 – Kings’ hunt for elite guard has heightened intensity this year:How long has it been? Eight years since the aging, aching Doug Christie was traded? The list of his potential successors at times has included Beno Udrih, Bobby Brown, Quincy Douby, Francisco Garcia, Will Solomon, Tyreke Evans and Isaiah Thomas. Mike Bibby, of course, was an above-average playmaker, but he was most effective when Christie was the primary distributor and he was free to roam the floor and launch his lethal jumpers from the corners or the wings. Sacramento Bee

It hurt my eyes to read that list. – FB

6/10/2013 –Pacers believe they have turned financial corner: The deep financial hole the Pacers have been in for so many years isn’t completely behind them, but Simon said he feels his franchise is turning the corner. The Pacers — led by Paul George and Roy Hibbert — are set to be competitive for years to come, and if the support they received during the playoffs is any indication, the fans who once turned their backs on the franchise are now supporting them. “I think the fans bought into our team and it certainly pleased us,” Simon told The Indianapolis Star in a recent phone interview. “This is a real team. It’s a bunch of people who played together, cared for each other and worked to get better as a team. That’s the exciting part of it.” Indianapolis Star

6/10/2013 – Jazz eyeing German point guard Schroeder in NBA Draft: Dennis Schroeder, a 19-year-old point guard who worked out Friday for the Utah Jazz, was trying to tell the assembled media the proper way to pronounce his last name.You see, because his name is one that could very well be called when Utah makes the 14th (or 21st) selection in the annual NBA draft June 27. The slender point guard — listed at 6 foot 1 and just 156 pounds — played last season with the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig of the German Basketball League, where he averaged 11.9 points, 3.3 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game while shooting 43.6 percent from the field, including 40.2 percent from 3-point range, and 83.8 percent from the foul line. Desert News

6/10/3013 – Anthony Bennett to visit Wizards on Wednesday: Bennett was unable to meet with the Wizards at the NBA combine last month in Chicago because he was still recovering from surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder. He won’t work out for the Wizards since the injury – which had been nagging him for the final months of his one season in college – will keep Bennett sidelined through August. Despite the setback, the Wizards remain high on Bennett, a 6-foot-8 forward with a 7-1 wingspan who has drawn comparisons to Elton Brand and Larry Johnson. Bennett, 19, averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds for the Running Rebels and could fit in Washington because of his versatility, agility and scoring ability. Washington Post

I have a feeling this kis id going to be a monster. – FB

6/10/2013 – Danny Green perfect night sets NBA Finals record: Spurs guard Danny Green had one of the best shooting nights in NBA Finals history, hitting all six shots and all five 3-point attempts. Green’s big night set a Finals record for most threes without a miss. The previous record was four, held by Boston’s Scott Wedman in 1985 against the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston’s Paul Pierce in 2008 against the Lakers. It also matched a Spurs franchise record for 3-pointers in the Finals, previously set by Robert Horry in 2005 against Detroit and Jaren Jackson in 1999 against New York. San Antonio Express-News

6/10/2013 – Role players come up big as Heat route Spurs: The other guys evened the series. For much of Sunday’s pivotal Game 2 of the NBA Finals, LeBron James was in a postseason trance unlike anything he has experienced since the 2011 Finals. He finally snapped out of it, but by that time it didn’t really matter. Mario Chalmers, Mike Miller and Ray Allen had already put the game away. In perhaps the biggest game of his professional career, Chalmers led all scorers with 19 points in the Heat’s 103-84 victory against the San Antonio Spurs at AmericanAirlines Arena. Tied 1-1, the best-of-7 series now shifts to Texas for three consecutive games before returning to Miami for Games 6 and 7, if necessary. Miami Herald

6/10/2013 – Denver intends to keep Iguodala: “I didn’t bring Andre Iguodala to Denver to be here for one year. And that’s what I’ve told him,” Nuggets president Josh Kroenke said Friday. Iguodala can walk away from $16 million on the table in Denver, and opt out of the final year of his contract to search for a better situation elsewhere in the NBA as a free agent Can Iguodala be the main man on a championship team? Are his skills worth $16 million per year? I say no. “You hate Andre, don’t you?” Kroenke countered, poking a little good-natured fun at me. “You love to get on Andre.” Denver Post

6/10/2013 – Durant to sign with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation:Kevin Durant is the first NBA All-Star to defect to rapper and mogul Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports agency, sources told Yahoo! Sports.Roc Nation is a newly formed agency that has been aggressively pursuing star players in the NFL, MLB and now the NBA. Kevin Durant is hiring Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports as his new representative. (USA Today Sports)Sports Business Journal first reported Durant’s move. “KD doesn’t want a traditional NBA agent anymore,” a league source with knowledge of his thinking told Yahoo! Sports on Friday night. “He wants Jay-Z to handle his branding. …He had a chance to be with his idol and couldn’t say no.” League executives and agents wonder whether the move to Jay-Z and Roc Nation could eventually lead to the agency pushing for Durant to depart small-market Oklahoma City for the opportunities of New York or Los Angeles. Yahoo! Sports

6/10/2013 – Wolves want Pekovich and Kirilenko to stay: Meanwhile, Saunders is scouting in preparation of two first-round picks in the June 27 draft, Nos. 9 and 26, looking to add size on the front line and shooting, trying to resolve a glut of point guards, and awaiting decisions on the futures of Nikola Pekovic and Andrei Kirilenko. Pekovic becomes a restricted free agent July 1 – “We plan on signing him,” Saunders said – while Kirilenko has to decide days before that whether to stay in his contract or return to free agency. “We don’t have a gut feel,” Saunders said of Kirilenko’s plans. “It’s a lot of money, at $10 million, to say you’re going to opt out of it. But anything can happen. You know how that goes.”

6/10/2013 – Pacers shopping Granger: Multiple sources believe the Pacers are looking for a taker for veteran small forward Danny Granger. The Cavs are interested, sources said, but have reservations about the knee injury that forced him to miss much of the season. If the injury robbed Granger of his explosiveness, such a move would hardly be worth the gamble. Fox Sports

6/10/2013 – Billups considers the Heat an option: The Miami Heat went after Chauncey Billups before last season but weren’t able to get him. They soon will have another chance. The veteran point guard will become a free agent July 1. He said he then will consider the Heat. “Of course, I would have interest in Miami, of course,’’ Billups told FOX Sports Florida after having received the NBA’s inaugural Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award prior to Sunday night’s Game 2 of the NBA Finals at AmericanAirlines Arena. The Heat went after Billups after he was released in December 2011 as part of the NBA’s amnesty provision. However, the Los Angeles Clippers won the bidding process, and he has played with them the past two seasons. Fox Sports

6/10/2013 – Doc awaits Ainge’s decision on “Big Two”: Perhaps that’s because Rivers’ is anxiously split between two vigils of his own — the Ainge watch and the Kevin Garnett watch. Beyond whatever private considerations he might be contemplating, Rivers is waiting for Ainge to make two enormous, potentially era-changing decisions. He has to decide whether to renew Paul Pierce’s contract by June 30, and whether to bring back Garnett. The alternative is moving one or both assets to build for the future. Garnett, in turn, still might be debating a return, though according to a league source, he has not had surgery on his troublesome left leg. Garnett spent all of his off-court playoff time in a therapeutic boot, and dropped hints about how much the inflammation in his left ankle area cut down on mobility. But rest appears to have been the solution to his issues. Boston Herald

6/10/2013 – Cavs considering McLemore with first pick: As can be expected, the Cavaliers are still kicking around ideas on what to do with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. Should they try to trade it? Should they keep it and take Kentucky center Nerlens Noel and his rebuilt ACL? Should they stick with their philosophy of selecting the best player available, regardless of position, and let the chips fall where they may?The answers are perhaps, perhaps and perhaps again. It’s true, as Cavs general manager Chris Grant and his staff are exploring all options and seem to have settled on none. Their latest dose of due diligence is centered on Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore, a 6-foot-4 sharpshooter who’s been compared to NBA veteran Ray Allen, now of the Miami Heat. According to FOX Sports Ohio sources, abundant discussions are taking place in the Cavs’ front office about the possibility of drafting McLemore, and how things might unfold if he indeed became the pick. The Cavs appear to be intrigued not just by McLemore’s remarkable perimeter touch, but his explosiveness near the basket. Like most evaluators, they believe he can turn into a bona fide scoring whiz at the next level. Fox Sports

6/10/2013 – Detroit’s Nick Minnerath to workout with Detroit Pistons this week:The train that is Nick Minnerath is picking up steam as the NBA draft gets closer.Minnerath, a 6-foot-9 senior power forward from the University of Detroit Mercy, worked out for the Washington Wizards last week and is scheduled to work out for the Pistons on Wednesday. Minnerath used a last-minute invitation to the Portsmouth predraft camp to impress some NBA scouts. He averaged 14 points per game at Portsmouth and was one of the standout players. Since then he has interviewed with the San Antonio Spurs and Utah Jazz.”Portsmouth definitely got me a little more exposure at the right time after the season was over,” said Minnerath. “I think teams have seen things during the year and I’ve been able to bring those things to the workouts. Maybe they didn’t think I could shoot as well or maybe teams thought I couldn’t do some other things and I’m showing that I can.” Detroit Free Press

6/10/2013 – Kidd wants coach the Nets: The greatest player in the Nets’ NBA history wants to become the 17th head coach in the franchise’s NBA history.Hall of Famer-in-waiting Jason Kidd, who announced his retirement one week ago after a season with the Knicks, has asked to meet with Nets executives to discuss the possibility of succeeding P.J. Carlesimo as the team’s head coach. “He does believe he is ready to be a head coach,” a league source familiar with Kidd’s thinking said while acknowledging the point guard’s request for a meeting to discuss his and the team’s coaching future. New York Post

Kidd may turn out to be a great coach someday, but this doesn’t seem like the right move for the Nets and their win now mentality. – FB

6/10/2013 – Kenny Smith talks coaching position with Kings: With the Sacramento Kings continuing their general manager search, a most-unexpected candidate has been revealed: Kenny Smith.The former Kings player and TNT commentator told USA TODAY Sports on Sunday night that he has been in discussions with new owner Vivek Ranadive. Longtime general manager Geoff Petrie has been told that he will not be re-signed after his contract expires later this month, and Smith is clearly hoping to be part of the new regime. “We’ve been talking; we’ve been talking,” Smith said. “That’s all I’m going to say.” USA Today

Please tell me that Chuck & Ernie will be brought on as assistants! – FB

6/10/2013 – Settlement reached in Kobe Vs his parent case: Collectors of Kobe Bryant memorabilia will get their wish as a settlement has been reached between the Los Angeles Lakers guard and a company that was auctioning off his memorabilia. Exactly one week before the two sides were due to go to trial in New Jersey, a deal was reached, Goldin Auctions president Ken Goldin said on Monday morning. When Bryant learned last month that Goldin was planning on selling nearly 100 pieces of his memorabilia that was consigned to the company by his mother Pamela, he sued the company to get the items back. Goldin then filed its own lawsuit that maintained that Pamela was the owner of the items, revealing that the company had already given her an advance of $450,000 to pay for a new home for Bryant’s father Joe and herself in Las Vegas. ESPN


6/7/2013 – Maurice Cheeks the lead candidate to coach Pistons: Maurice Cheeks appears to be the next head coach of the Detroit Pistons, according to sources. Cheeks, current assistant for the Oklahoma City Thunder, looks to be the consensus choice for Pistons President Joe Dumars and owner Tom Gores. Detroit News

I don’t think they should have gotten rid of Lawrence Frank, but I like this move for them. – FB

6/7/2013 – Mason Plumlee to workout for the Portland Trailblazers: The 7-foot Plumlee averaged 17.1 points (3rd in the ACC), 10.0 rebounds (2nd), 1.9 assists and 1.4 blocks (5th), while shooting 59.9 percent from the field (7th in the nation). He tied for sixth in the nation in double-doubles with 18. According to his agent, Plumlee has a workout with the Blazers scheduled for June 19. The Oregonian

They really have a bad track record drafting centers, I’d go with a any other position just based on that alone….. – FB

6/7/2013 – NBA Finals Game 1 rating third-highest since 2004: It used to be that hardly anyone outside of San Antonio wanted to watch the Spurs. Now, the country can’t seem to get enough. The Spurs — with a healthy assist from the star-powered Heat, of course — drew a 10.6 overnight rating per Nielsen, the third-highest for the opening game of the Finals since 2004. San Antonio Express-News

6/7/2013 – Paul George thanks LeBron James for his improvement: LeBron James. Not Carmelo Anthony. Not Kobe Bryant nor Kevin Durant. Strictly LeBron James. He’s the one who causes the fire to burn within Indiana Pacers emerging superstar Paul George. James pushed George to get better after last year’s second-round playoff series in which James’ Miami Heat beat the Pacers. James did it after working with George during the Team USA camp last summer in Las Vegas. He’ll prompt George to do it again this summer as James further established himself as the best player in the world when the Heat beat the Pacers in seven games in the Eastern Conference finals. Indianapolis Star

Had a good friend of mine tell me that George would end up being better than Lebron. As much as I like Paul George, I don’t buy it. – FB

6/7/2013 – Dario Saric withdraws fron NBA Draft: After Chad Ford reported yesterday that Dario Saric is “leaning towards withdrawing from the draft”, I decided to take it upon myself to dig a little dipper. After all, I had plenty invested following a 4000+ word piece on Saric yesterday.I reached out to several people, including Saric’s agent Robert Jablan. I asked for a quote or comment on the record regarding Saric’s status for my piece and Jablan responded with the following:”We make decision this morning that we will withdraw Dario from the 2013 draft” Best regards,Robert Jablan. Bourbon Street Shots

6/7/2013 – Nets to workout little known prospect Dami Sapara:Even the most ardent college basketball fan probably doesn’t recognize the name Dami Sapara and even if the name does ring a bell, the information available on the Staten Island native is scarce. He will have the opportunity to change that on Tuesday. A 6-foot-6, 210-pound point guard out of College of the Ozarks, an NAIA Division II school, will work out for the Nets on Tuesday, his agent B.J. Bass told on Friday morning. Sapara will be the Nets’ first pre-draft workout. SNY Nets

I don’t even know this kid. -FB

6/7/2013 – George Karl is talking to the Memphis Grizzlies: The Denver Nuggets surprisingly parted ways with coach George Karl on Thursday, and he instantly became a hot commodity elsewhere. According to two people with knowledge of the talks, the Memphis Grizzlies spoke with Karl almost immediately after he was let go about the possibility that he would replace Lionel Hollins and the Clippers plan to talk to him soon about their coaching vacancy. USA Today

The “coaching carousel” is out of control! – FB

6/7/2013 – Hollins talks to Clippers, receives permission to speak with Nuggets: Lionel Hollins spoke with two Los Angeles Clippers executives by phone Thursday about the team’s head coaching vacancy, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.Hollins had lengthy conversations with Clippers executive vice president Andy Roeser and general manager Gary Sacks. Clippers brass asked Hollins to continue the interview process with a meeting in Los Angeles next week. Memphis Commercial Appeal

6/7/2013 – LeBron needs the “Big Two” to step up: The Miami Heat were just LeBron. Just LeBron. One guy. And one guy isn’t going to beat the San Antonio Spurs. One guy couldn’t do it in the 2007 NBA Finals, and one guy couldn’t do it Thursday night in Game 1 of the 2013 NBA Finals. LeBron gave it a run, but he didn’t get enough help from Wade, from Chris Bosh, from anybody, and the Spurs pilfered home-court advantage with a 92-88 victory at American Airlines Arena.But for about 30 seconds he dropped the scales and gave us a peek into his frustrations. After putting up his 10th career postseason triple-double, LeBron was asked by somebody about his offensive inefficiency — 18 points on 16 shots — and the four-time MVP couldn’t get 10 words into his answer without stopping and breaking into a big smile. “I mean, I missed some shots,” LeBron said, then paused to smile and shake his head. The body language was clear: Me? You’re blaming me for that loss? As far as being efficient, I’m not too worried about that,” he said. “I also had 18 rebounds. And 10 assists as well. So you know, I’m not too much worried about what I do as far as scoring.”

6/7/2013 – Wolves want Oladipo: There’s still a strong interest from the Wolves in moving up in the June 27 NBA draft to select Indiana guard Victor Oladipo. According to sources, the Wolves have spoken to Oladipo’s camp. No workout has been set up, because Oladipo’s representatives need sufficient evidence that the Wolves can move up to Orlando’s spot at No. 2, Washington’s spot at No. 3 or Charlotte’s spot at No. 4. 1500 ESPN

6/7/2013 – Knicks eyeing Murray State’s Isaiah Canaan : Pegged as a second-round pick in this month’s upcoming draft by most, Canaan is hoping to bring a certain wow factor of his own, something he’ll try to exhibit during the travels that’ll have him working out for teams coast to coast. He’s a point guard who was asked to be a heavy scorer at Murray State, and it’s not hard to tell he strongly believes he has all the attributes to play at that next level. News Day

6/7/2013 – Brian Shaw higher on Nets’ wish list than Lionel Hollins and George Karl: Nets GM has been silent on the team’s search for a coach after admitting that he had contacted Phil Jackson, but a source says the team is looking for a ‘fresh face,’ which indicates that Shaw has a leg up on the two veterans. New York Daily News

6/7/2013 – Dirk plans to help recruit Chris Paul and Dwight Howard: Dirk Nowitzki said Thursday that he’s excited for July 1, the day teams can officially start talking with free agents. Nowitzki’s first two targets will be superstars Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.While spending some time on 103.3’s Fitzsimmons & Durrett show [KESN-FM], the Dallas Mavericks forward discussed the importance of landing one of those two players. “If we don’t get the two monsters then we got to find another way,” Nowitzki said, “through sign-and-trades or other free agents that are out there.” Dallas Morning News

Every team wants a “Big Three” of their own. – FB

6/7/2013 – Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes invited to Team USA Minicamp: Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes will participate in Team USA’s minicamp in Las Vegas in July, according to sources. And point guard Stephen Curry is back in the national team mix, too. The camp this summer is for Team USA officials to get a good look at the promising young players in the NBA. Kyrie Irving, DeMarcus Cousins and Paul George will reportedly participate as well. Contra Costa Times

6/7/2013- Coach of the year curse George Karl fired: Nuggets president Josh Kroenke fired Karl on Thursday in a bizarre ending to sometimes celebrated, sometimes complicated nine seasons in Denver. Indiana Pacers assistant Brian Shaw and Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins are the early front-runners as possible replacements, a league source said. Denver Post

6/7/2013 –NBA Finals Spurs win 92-88: It was a classic Spurs victory — doing whatever they could to survive multiple Heat runs before pulling away late in the din of American Airlines Arena to steal Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The usual suspects carried the load, with Tim Duncan drawing and converting a pair of key free throws while Tony Parker scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, including a miraculous jumper that barely beat the shot clock before banking in with 5.2 seconds left. San Antonio Express-News


6/6/2013 – Tracy McGrady making first NBA Finals appearance: McGrady will be making the first NBA Finals appearance of his 16-year career with the San Antonio Spurs facing the Miami Heat. The seven-time All-Star’s career was riddled with injuries and was presumed over after playing professionally in China this season. But after the Spurs signed McGrady on April 16, he not only got past the first round of the playoffs for the first time, but ultimately advanced to the Finals. Yahoo! Sports

6/6/2013 – Phil Jackson picks Spurs over Heat in Finals: Phil Jackson’s been a thorn in the San Antonio Spurs’ side when he was the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, but it seems this year he’s picking the Spurs to win it all. In a recent book signing, a fan asked Jackson who he thought was going to win the NBA championship in the Finals stage and Phil gave his quick pick.

6/6/2013 – Bird in mix to lead Kings’ basketball operations: Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive has had conversations with NBA legend Larry Bird about running the team’s basketball operations. Ranadive continues to consider candidates to replace basketball president Geoff Petrie, whose contract expires at the end of the month, Jerry Reynolds said Wednesday he will step down as director of player personnel in anticipation of a new front-office team. Sacremento Bee

6/6/2013 – Grizzlies’ CEO Jason Levien taking huge risk if Hollins walks: It is not known when Hollins will formally interview with the Clippers. Hollins is expected to again meet with Griz CEO Jason Levien later this week to address “philosophical differences” that stalled contract negotiations. Levien was out of town Wednesday and did not attend the predraft workout. Dave Joerger, who resides in the Memphis area, is widely believed to be the Grizzlies’ next head coach if Hollins doesn’t strike a deal. Although no other NBA teams have formally asked for permission to talk to Joerger, the Philadelphia 76ers are believed to be interested in him. Memphis Commercial Appeal

6/6/2013 – Frank Vogel is expecting to replace Brian Shaw: Vogel said he is expecting to have to fill a spot on his coaching staff. Brian Shaw, the Pacers’ associate head coach the past two seasons, has been targeted by a number of NBA teams with head coaching vacancies. Pacers president Donnie Walsh has already given permission to the Clippers and Nets to speak with Shaw. “I do have the anticipation that we will have to replace him,” Vogel said of Shaw. “If we don’t, there’s some poor decisions being made by some teams out there. He’s going to be one of the great coaches this league’s seen. Indianapolis Star

6/6/2013 – Larry Brown contacted by the 76ers: A source with intimate knowledge of the situation confirmed to Comcast SportsNet that the Sixers, along with a couple other NBA teams, have shown interest in former Sixers coach Larry Brown for their current head coaching vacancies.


Nobody tell Shaq. – FB

6/6/2013 – Shaq wants the “coach recycling” to stop: “I’m sick and tired of these coaches getting another chance before these other up-and-coming guys,” Shaq said. “People need to realize this is a new era and B Shaw speaks that language. He’s my age, but he understands how it goes. He knows how the players go, how they tick. All these guys who have losing records come and try to do the same (expletive). It’s not going work.” Indianapolis Star

I will go on record as saying, this is the first time I have ever agreed with Shaq on anything. – FB

6/6/2013 – Jason Collins to march in Gay Pride Parade: NBA center Jason Collins made history last month as the first openly gay active male athlete in a major American sport. On Thursday, the former Celtic returns to Boston to participate in Pride Week events. He will throw out the first pitch at Fenway Park’s first “Pride Night,” and march in the Boston Pride Parade with his college roommate, US Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III. Boston Globe

6/6/2013 – Dr. J calls Bynum Damaged goods: Julius Erving said the Los Angeles Lakers traded the Philadelphia 76ers “damaged goods in Andrew Bynum, called analytics “turning basketball into rocket science” and predicted the San Antonio Spurs would defeat the Miami Heat for the NBA championship while speaking Wednesday at Xfinity Live in the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. USA Today

I don’t think anyone can really argue with the good Dr. on this one. – FB

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