Culture of Hoops

News and Rumors: Week of 12.22.2013

Baller Mind Frame’s News & Rumors are quick blurbs mixed with personal opinion from our very own Aaron Lanton. Check it often and absorb the NBA goings-on. For more news and rumors visit our archives – June 2013 I July 2013I August 2013I September 2013I October 2013 I November 2013

12/27/2013 – T-Will headed to an NBA arena near you? According to a source, Terrence Williams is officially available in the NBA D-League player pool. The former Boston Celtics guard is talented enough that one of the top three teams on the waiver wire will likely claim him, but a team lower on the waiver wire (i.e. Maine) could offer one of the teams a deal they can’t refuse in order to get Williams. D-League Digest



12/27/2013 – Michael Carter-Williams has Philly fan’s seeing shades of Iverson: On walks around a city desperate for an heir to Allen Iverson’s star and staying power, Michael Carter-Williams has swiftly turned from a franchise prospect to an improbable successor, or so people tell him. From fans to friends, team staffers to sports talk, Carter-Williams listens to the ways Philadelphia’s star of yesterday represented its blue-collar ethics, the ways he molded the 76ers. Carter-Williams will never score with the frequency Iverson did over an entire career, nor become the unique cultural icon, but he’s already shown Philadelphia flashes of the level of talent that made A.I. a legend there and the mental makeup to go with it. Now, he’s hearing about it, too. “I’m hearing the comparisons, and it’s an honor,” Carter-Williams told RealGM. “Allen Iverson was great, one of the best of all time. What he did for the city of Philadelphia is amazing.” When Iverson returned to the city for opening night, he celebrated several of Carter-Williams’ finishes at the rim and precise passes and the win over the Miami Heat. Past and present, Iverson and Carter-Williams had met briefly later that night. “I said what’s up to him, but there were a lot of people around him,” Carter-Williams said. Yes, the crowd will always follow Iverson in Philadelphia the fashion they do for very few professional athletes. RealGM

12/27/2013 – Mark Cuban “hates” the NBA short-sleeved jerseys: As far as Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is concerned, the NBA committed a major fashion faux pas by having all 10 teams that played Christmas Day suited up in short-sleeved jerseys. Mavs owner Mark Cuban said the short-sleeved jerseys teams like the Warriors wore Christmas Day “made our guys look more like a high school wrestling team.” “Hated them,” Cuban said before the Mavs hosted the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night. “I just thought it made our guys look more like a high school wrestling team or a college wrestling team.” Cuban, whose Mavs had Christmas off, understands the NBA is attempting to market the short-sleeved jerseys to fans who might not want to wear tank tops. He just doesn’t believe it’s necessary for superstars such as LeBron James and Kevin Durant to wear the T-shirt-style jerseys in games to get them to sell. ESPN


12/27/2013 – The Nets keep throwing money on the fire: And what of the Russians’ patience? They will pay out close to $200 million on salary, luxury taxes … and Travis Outlaw’s amnesty payment this year. They’re still spending money, getting ready to announce the move of the Nets’ training facility from East Rutherford to Brooklyn, which will cost them $50 million or so. There have also been vague rumors they want to buy a D-League team, perhaps move it to Nassau Coliseum, where they are invested in the rehab. It’s hard to imagine Prokhorov giving up. It’s not in his makeup. He is a patient, if very frustrated and, we’re told, angry man. Two weeks ago, using the pretext of a Nets board meeting, Sergei Kushchenko came to New York. He was there to ask some questions and report back. The 52-year old is Prokhorov’s chief sports adviser. Kushchenko knows about professional basketball. He served as GM of CSKA Moscow for seven years, winning two Euroleague titles and getting to the Finals two other times. He made the Final Four every year he ran the club. In 2006, he was Euroleague Executive of the Year and in 2008, TIME Magazine named him one of the world’s top sports executives. In 2011, Prokhorov named him to the Nets board of directors. His main job now is Executive Director of the Russian Biathlon Union, which Prokhorov heads. But that job will have fewer responsibilities after the Sochi Olympics which end February 23. Don’t be surprised to see him with a larger role. Bottom line: Is it a mess? Yep. Is it heart-breaking for fans? Yep. Are the Nets the laughingstock of the NBA? Yep. Will there be “personnel changes?” Almost certainly. Can they turn it around? Short-term, it looks daunting as we’ve said. Long-term, unless there are some master strokes or great fortune, it’s going to be a long haul. But they do play in New York, their owner has deep pockets and they play in what is the most modern and most striking arena in the league. That’s not going away. NetsDaily

Mo money, mo problems… – FB

12/27/2013 – NBA number-crunching legend still going strong at 91: Fittingly, Harvey Pollack was the one who scribbled the number 100 on the most famous photograph in basketball history: Wilt Chamberlain holding the piece of paper signifying his astounding point total in a 1962 game for the then Philadelphia Warriors.After all, Pollack is basketball’s ultimate numbers and public relations man. But the scrawling is hardly Pollack’s sole legacy in a nearly seven-decade career in basketball. He was the first to track a player’s blocked shots, rebounds, minutes played and dunks. The term “triple-double” for a player netting 10 or more points, rebounds and assists in a game — Pollack’s doing. These days he even charts which NBA players sport tattoos. Pollack is the Philadelphia 76ers’ director of statistical information, a paltry title for the unofficial historian of all things throughout the National Basketball Association’s existence. “The word ‘legend’ doesn’t appropriately describe Harvey,” NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver tells JTA. “He’s really the heart and soul of the 76ers, a walking encyclopedia of NBA history and a testament to the family nature of this league.” Pollack, vigorous at 91, remains a Philadelphia courtside fixture, scrupulously keeping each game’s statistics without so much as eyeglasses to assist. Pollack, in fact, predates the NBA, going back to the Warriors’ Basketball Association of America debut in 1946. Jewish Daily Forward


12/24/2013 – NBA is considering “wheel system” to replace the draft lottery and alleviate tanking:

Grantland obtained a copy of the proposal, which would eliminate the draft lottery and replace it with a system in which each of the 30 teams would pick in a specific first-round draft slot once — and exactly once — every 30 years. Each team would simply cycle through the 30 draft slots, year by year, in a predetermined order designed so that teams pick in different areas of the draft each year. Teams would know with 100 percent certainty in which draft slots they would pick every year, up to 30 years out from the start of every 30-year cycle. The practice of protecting picks would disappear; there would never be a Harrison Barnes–Golden State situation again, and it wouldn’t require a law degree to track ownership of every traded pick league-wide. Grantland

I don’t agree with this method because it has some serious flaws, but at least they are trying, right? – AL

12/24/2013 – Hawks lose to Heat in a valiant effort:


A 13-0 run to start the game, that was too easy for the Miami Heat. Down by seven with 90 seconds left in regulation, that’s where they looked comfortable. And down by three late in overtime, that’s when the Heat finally decided to put things away. LeBron James scored 38 points, Michael Beasley made two free throws with 9.2 seconds left to put Miami up for good, and the Heat beat the Atlanta Hawks 121-119 in overtime on Monday night — topping the Hawks for the ninth straight time. “Obviously, after going through what we experienced last year in The Finals, it’s never over,” James said. “So we just keep fighting until the end, and we were able to force overtime.” It didn’t have the down-five, 28.2-seconds-left feel that Game 6 against San Antonio had in last June’s title series. But there was much drama, much to the chagrin of Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, an assistant on that Spurs club. “They made a few big plays down the stretch and you’ve got to give them credit,” Budenholzer said. Jeff Teague scored 26 points, Paul Millsap made seven 3-pointers on the way to a 25-point night, and Al Horford finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds for Atlanta. Kyle Korver scored 15 for the Hawks. ESPN

12/23/2013 – Clippers complete comeback to beat Timberwolves in overtime:


Anyone watching the game would understand. The refs swallowed the whistle at questionable moments, including the game-tying steal to layup sequence. The Clippers earned the win in overtime but it’s always disappointing to see missed whistles at important moments. – AL

12/23/2013 – Nets’ GM Billy King claims that the team is not in panicking after losing Brook Lopez for the season: General manager Billy King said Sunday that the Brooklyn Nets are disappointed by the latest injury to Brook Lopez, but are not in panic mode. Lopez broke his right foot again, leaving the Nets (9-17) without their leading scorer. King said he will see if there are any worthwhile trades, but is confident in the players he already has. ”When you get an injury like this, everybody calls you. Every agent that has a big guy on the sideline calls to offer their services,” King said. ‘But we had been in discussions with a lot of teams up to this point. There’s not an imminent move, we’re not looking to make any imminent move trade-wise. We’ve got 14 other guys that can step up, but we’ll continue to discuss possibilities if it can make our team better.” Associated Press

12/22/2013 – Thunder snuff late Spurs rally for comfortable 13-point victory: Russell Westbrook says there’s no question Oklahoma City is the league’s best team. He backed up his words Saturday night by leading the Thunder to a dominant victory in a place few visiting teams have had success. Westbrook had 31 points and eight assists and Oklahoma City used a strong second quarter to beat the San Antonio Spurs 113-100 for its ninth straight victory. “We got the best record in the league; I believe we’re the best team in the league regardless of who says this and who says that,” Westbrook said. “You have to go out and play. You can predict anything, but you have to play the game.” The Thunder outscored the Spurs 40-29 in the second quarter to hand San Antonio only its second home loss this season. “It was one of our best scoring quarters,” Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. “Not sure we have even had a 40-point quarter this season, but we moved the ball well and made shots. Both teams are hard to guard and both teams can score points. We got hot there in the second.” ESPN

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