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NBA Rumors for Tuesday, Dec. 23
InsideHoops NBA rumors updated 1:30 p.m. ET. More NBA rumors stories and other news also appears on the InsideHoops basketball blog.
The Philadelphia 76ers are requesting forward Andrei Kirilenko report to the team and prepare to start playing in games, league sources told Yahoo Sports. For now, Kirilenko and his representatives are resisting the Sixers' overtures, preferring the organization waive Kirilenko and let him become a free agent, sources said. Yahoo Sports
After Philadelphia and the Brooklyn Nets completed a trade for Kirilenko on Dec. 11, Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie has repeatedly expressed to Kirilenko's camp that there are no immediate plans to cut him loose, league sources said. Yahoo Sports
Kirilenko, 33, wants the balance of the $3.3 million owed to him this season, and ultimately the freedom to sign elsewhere on a new deal this season, sources said. So far, he's been unwilling to join the rebuilding Sixers, who have the worst record in the league at 3-23, but he eventually could be mandated to report to the team to collect on his contract. Yahoo Sports
On the Wizards: “We got cocky. I think we just got cocky,” center Marcin Gortat said. “I just think we didn’t do the right stuff we’re supposed to do and at the end of the day we just didn’t bring it. This league is just about playing every game, every possession, and we’re just not doing it.” Washington Post Blog
Striking a balance between confidence and cockiness is difficult, Gortat explained. “It’s hard. You just got to find the right balance — being aggressive, being a teammate, being an unselfish player, and making the right play,” Gortat said. “It’s all about basketball IQ and you have to bring it every game. You can’t get excited about winning five, six games in a row and all of a sudden you just think you’re going to show up. We had so many games where we had to sweat in the last minute in the fourth quarter to bring a win. Some guys we should beat them by 20, some teams. And we just didn’t beat them. So we got to learn. We got to play the right way.” Washington Post Blog
"He's one of the elite, maybe the best, two-way big men in the league," one general manager said of Al Horford. "Without him, the Hawks are a fringe playoff team. With him, they can finish third in the league." "Shoot, they may even be able to win the East the way they are playing," added another GM. ESPN.com
"He's a diligent worker, sacrifices for others and is a terrific leader," Hawks second-year coach Mike Budenholzer said of Horford. "He's just so unselfish." He's also someone who has the reputation around the league -- and it began in his college days -- for rarely taking a possession off. Remember, this is a guy who was critical to two national title teams at Florida. He and Noah both sacrificed for the betterment of the team, and Horford took a backseat for much of his tenure. This is a guy who was fine with finishing fourth on the team in scoring during the team's 2006 run. ESPN.com
On Horford: "When he's healthy, he's one of the top 25 players in this league," another high-ranking NBA executive said. "He plays both ends of the court, and that's what separates him from some of the other big men. Sure, Dwight Howard is better defensively -- but he can't really score. Kevin Love is a better offensive player, but he doesn't guard. Horford does it all." ESPN.com
The Miami HEAT announced today that forward Josh McRoberts underwent successful surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. The 45-minute procedure was performed by Dr. Harlan Selesnick at Doctors Hospital in Miami on Monday. He will miss the remainder of the season. McRoberts appeared in 17 games (four starts) this season for the HEAT and averaged 4.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 17.4 minutes while shooting 52.8 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from three-point range. InsideHoops
Lakers coach Byron Scott spent one hour on the team plane thinking about it. He spent some time with Kobe Bryant talking about it. And Scott spent all night sleeping on it. Yet, Scott has not outlined a clear solution on how he will manage Bryant’s playing time and workload amid his recent struggles with fatigue and shooting accuracy. Even more pressing: Will Scott actually sit Bryant out for a game? LA Daily News
Technically, this is the Entourage movie “official teaser trailer,” for those keeping score at home. Movie comes out in the summer of 2015. We loved this show. Can’t wait for the movie! Enjoy. InsideHoops
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