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Watch former teammates Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) and James Harden (Houston Rockets) do big things for their respective squad in a recent matchup against each other:

Texas Legends’ forward Damion James was today named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, March 4 – Sunday, March 9. The award is the first for James, who becomes the second Legends player to be honored as Performer of the Week this season.

James (6-7, 225, Texas) led the Legends to a 3-0 week last week, averaging 24.7 points to go with 14.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.7 blocks. He recorded a season-high 19 rebounds on March 6, in a 126-119 win over the Iowa Energy, scoring 34 points to tie his season best.

James, who was traded to Texas from the Bakersfield Jam last month, is averaging 24.9 points and 12.0 rebounds in eight games with the Legends. For the season, he is averaging 16.4 points and 7.9 rebounds in 35 total games.

Other top performers considered included Canton’s Arinze Onuaku, playing on assignment from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles’ Manny Harris, Maine’s Tyshawn Taylor, Springfield’s Willie Reed and Sioux Falls’ Larry Drew II.

Rockets re-assign Troy Daniels to D-League

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced that the team re-assigned guard Troy Daniels to Houston’s single-affiliation NBA D-League partner Rio Grande Valley.

Daniels (6-4, 204, Virginia Commonwealth), who was recalled by Houston on Mar. 2, scored the first five points (2-4 FG, 1-3 3FG) of his NBA career in 5:32 off the bench vs. Indiana (3/7/14). The D-League Gatorade Call-Up was signed by the Rockets on Feb. 21 and assigned back to the Vipers.

Overall this season, Daniels has averaged 22.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.98 assists in 36 games (25 starts) with Rio Grande Valley. At the time of his recall, Daniels led the D-League in 3-pointers made (190) and ranked tied for fourth in the league in scoring average (22.8). The Vipers co-leading scorer actually broke the NBA D-League record for 3-pointers made in a single season with his 153rd on Jan. 29 vs. Tulsa. He also tied the NBA D-League record for 3-point field goals made in a game with 10 treys on Jan. 4 at Idaho. The D-League rookie placed second in a sudden-death round of the 2014 Boost Mobile NBA D-League 3-Point Competition. He was also selected to play in the 2014 NBA D-League All-Star Game, where he scored 21 points for Team Prospects in a 145-142 win over All-Star Weekend in New Orleans.

Here’s the Houston Chronicle reporting on the Rockets:

The Rockets had a familiar face on the practice court on Saturday afternoon.

Hakeem Olajuwon was in the gym working with several players. He spent a lot of time with Omer Asik, Terrence Jones and Dwight Howard.

“Its a great learning experience – a Hall of Famer, one of the best bigs to ever play this game and he has so much knowledge and experience,” Jones said. “It’s so much to take in.”

Jones said he and Olajuwon worked specifically on post moves.

Rockets face tough upcoming schedule

Here’s the Houston Chronicle on the Rockets, who will have to be at their best these next few weeks:

The Rockets did a lot of things well in their 118-110 win over Detroit on Saturday.

They are going to have to do that and much more over the next weeks to come out on top in one of their toughest stretches of the season.

In the next two weeks, the Rockets face several of the league’s top teams. They will see Miami twice, Indiana, Portland and Oklahoma City. They also face Chicago and Orlando in that time.

“It is definitely going to be a tough couple of weeks,” guard James Harden said. “It will be a good test.”

The Rockets got off to a good start in March after going 8-2 in February.

Houston Rocket sign Troy Daniels

The Houston Rockets today signed Troy Daniels from the NBA Development League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers. The signing is the 19th GATORADE Call-Up this season.

In a related move, the Rockets assigned Daniels to the Vipers, the team’s NBA D-League affiliate.

The assignment is the 133rd of the 2013-14 campaign and Daniels is the 49th NBA player to be assigned to his NBA D-League affiliate this season.

Nuggets trade Jordan Hamilton to Rockets for Aaron Brooks

The Denver Nuggets have acquired guard Aaron Brooks from the Houston Rockets in exchange for swingman Jordan Hamilton, Nuggets General Manager/Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.

Brooks, 6-0, 161, has averaged 11.1 points and 3.2 assists in six seasons with the Rockets, Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings. He also is a career .844 free-throw shooter and owns a .414 mark from 3-point range.

In 43 games with Houston this season, Brooks averaged 7.0 points and 1.9 assists in 16.7 minutes.

Selected 26th overall by Houston in the 2007 NBA Draft, Brooks was outstanding for the Rockets during the 2009 Western Conference playoffs. He averaged 16.8 points in 13 games, highlighted by a 34-point performance in Game 4 of Houston’s second-round series against the Los Angeles Lakers.

He followed his strong postseason play by averaging 19.6 points and 5.3 assists – both career-bests – in 2009-10 and was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player.

Brooks, 29, also spent the 2011-12 season playing for Guangdong in the Chinese Basketball Association.

The Los Angeles Lakers are having a rough season, with a limited roster as well as nonstop injuries, but that won’t stop Laker fans from voicing their opinions in L.A. tonight as the team hosts Dwight Howard and the visiting Houston Rockets. If you enjoy hearing boos, watch this game. Here’s the Los Angeles Times with more:

Dwight Howard knows what’s coming. Ear plugs would be a good start.

His dress rehearsal didn’t go well a few months ago at Staples Center when he was booed incessantly and his team lost badly to the Clippers. Now he faces his past in his first road game against the Lakers since spurning them last July for a four-year, $88-million deal with the Houston Rockets.

It’s easy to predict the most popular three-letter word Wednesday at Staples Center: b-o-o.

“I’m going to get a lot of boos,” Howard said Tuesday after the Rockets practiced at UCLA. “I know I’m going to hear it the whole game — ‘Coward,’ whatever.

“Thank God, this year I’ve been through it a lot in every city. There’s Lakers fans everywhere. So I think I’m a little bit prepared for it.”

James Harden was an Allen Iverson fan

Here’s the Houston Chronicle reporting the feelings of a current terrific scoring guard on a former great:

The Philadelphia 76ers announced Wednesday that 11-time All-Star guard Allen Iverson will have his No. 3 jersey retired by the franchise on March 1.

Upon hearing the news, Rockets guard James Harden said Iverson was very deserving of the honor.

“He is one of the best players, one of the best scorers I have ever watched, period,” Harden said. “He is so small but he got it done. He was a warrior.”

Good from the Houston Chronicle today on the Rockets. They don’t necessarily need Omer Asik, who was on the trading block, but no matter what, he’s certainly more valuable healthy than hurt:

omer asik

Rockets center Omer Asik, who has missed the majority of the season with thigh and knee injuries, went through Thursday’s practice and said he is feeling much better.

In response to how his knee was feeling, Asik said, “It’s close to 100 percent. I can’t say 100 percent, but it’s much better. Hopefully I will get a little bit more practice then get back on the court.”

Neither coach Kevin McHale or Asik gave an exact date for return, but McHale said it would be “sooner than later.”

Here is ESPN.com News Services reporting on the Houston Rockets and failed draft pick Royce White:

royce white

Royce White is the NBA draft’s “worst first-round pick ever,” according to the man who picked him.

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey selected White with the 16th overall pick in the 2012 draft, but White has yet to appear in an NBA game.

“I take some sort of pride in that you could argue that Royce White is the worst first-round pick ever,” Morey said in a Q&A discussion with Houston season ticketholders, according to the ClutchFans.net blog.

White, who is 6-foot-8, has struggled with an acknowledged anxiety disorder that would make it a challenge for him to play a full NBA season.

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has re-assigned guard Isaiah Canaan to Houston’s single-affiliation NBA D-League partner Rio Grande Valley.

Canaan (6-0, 188, Murray State), who saw action in his first five NBA games with the Rockets in 2013-14, averaged 21.7 points, 9.2 assists and 4.3 rebounds in 12 games (12 starts) in his first stint with Rio Grande Valley this season. At the time of his recall on Dec. 23, Canaan stood second in the D-League in assists per game (9.2) and ranked ninth in the league in scoring average (21.7). He was also named along with Pierre Jackson of the Idaho Stampede as the NBA D-League Co-Performers of the Week for games played Dec. 2-8.

The Biloxi, Mississippi native was selected by the Rockets with the 34th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. He played in 132 career games over four seasons at Murray State, averaging 15.5 points, 2.9 assists and 2.8 rebounds. Overall, Canaan scored over 2,000 points in his collegiate career (2,050) while shooting 304-of-725 (.419) from beyond the arc. He was named Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year as a junior and OVC Co-Player of the Year as a senior. Canaan added Honorable Mention All-America honors from the Associated Press as a senior.

Dexter Pittman now on Austin Toros in D-League

The Austin Toros today announced that they have acquired center Dexter Pittman from the Springfield Armor in exchange for the Toros third round pick in the 2014 NBA D-League Draft. Kyle Hunt was waived as a result.

Pittman was selected by the Miami Heat in the second round (32nd overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft. He played three seasons with the Heat before being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. In 48 NBA games, Pittman averaged 2.4 points and 1.8 rebounds in 7.2 minutes of play. While on the Heat roster, Pittman was assigned to the D-League Sioux Falls Skyforce (10-11, 12-13) where he averaged 13.6 points and 8.4 rebounds in 37 games played (34 starts). He participated in the 2013 NBA Summer League with the San Antonio Spurs followed by a training camp invite from the Chicago Bulls.

The 6-11, 285 pound center played four seasons at the University of Texas. He appeared in 134 games (59 starts) averaging 6.6 points and 4.0 rebounds in 12.2 minutes.

Here’s CSN Houston with an update on the Rockets:

Dwight Howard

Several players were asked about any New Year’s resolutions they might be making this year. Dwight Howard said he makes the same one every year, he said he just wants to win a championship.

After the Rockets New Year’s Eve loss at Toyota Center to the Sacramento Kings, 110-106, thoughts in his locker room from Howard and his teammates were far from that.

“We’ve got to learn from our mistakes. This team has beaten us twice the same way and we didn’t learn from it. Until we do, we’re going to continue to lose.” Howard said. “There’s nothing to talk about anymore, everybody’s got to do their part, play defense. It starts on the perimeter. I’m not blaming it on nobody, we’ve all got to play defense better.

“We’ve got to learn at some point. As a team, collectively, we’ve got to learn how to finish these games off and start these games. Until we do, we’re going to keep losing to teams who don’t have a better record than us.”

Here’s the Houston Chronicle with a report on Rockets center Omer Asik, who has been on the trading block for much of this season:

Omer Asik struggles with recovery from knee injury

The Rockets were not only still without center Omer Asik – and will not have him for the immediate future at least – they were also still unsure why he has been unable to make improvement from his injury.

Asik has repeatedly been able to make strides and greatly increase workouts, but each time he seems close to being able to return, the swelling in his knee returns. The Rockets sent him for the more detailed MRI last week, but it showed no damage to the knee. They have sent those test results to another expert, hoping to get a better idea of why the problem remains so persistent.

Asik initially went out after a bruised thigh Dec. 2. Swelling developed in his knee soon after, forcing him to miss the next 11 games, an absence made an even greater issue with backup center Greg Smith also out.

The Houston Rockets are expected to trade Omer Asik soon. Here’s ESPN.com reporting some possibilities:

Boston Celtics reportedly have interest in Omer Asik

The day has arrived for the Houston Rockets to live up to their vow to trade disgruntled center Omer Asik.

The Rockets have been telling teams for two weeks that they will trade Asik by Thursday, and according to sources close to the process, they gradually continued to move in that direction Wednesday.

ESPN.com reported Tuesday that the Boston Celtics had emerged as the strongest rivals to the Philadelphia 76ers in terms of Asik’s likely destination. Entering the final hours before the Rockets’ self-imposed deadline, sources said Houston officials spent much of Wednesday weighing the merits of Boston’s offer of forward Brandon Bass, guard Courtney Lee and a future first-round draft pick for the 7-footer from Turkey while also remaining engaged in talks with Philadelphia and leaving open the possibility that other teams could still join the bidding.

The Rockets, sources said, have been interested in prying veteran center Spencer Hawes away from the Sixers along with a future first-round pick, but they won’t know until Thursday whether Philadelphia is prepared to part with that much for Asik or whether Boston’s offer is the best available.

Here’s the Houston Chronicle with an update on coach McHale and the Rockets:

Rockets coach Kevin McHale didn’t waste any time getting things back to normal in the practice gym at Toyota Center on Tuesday.

It was business as usual for McHale, who has been away from the team for a week due to the Dec. 10 death of his mother Josephine in Minnesota.

McHale came in with a list of things to practice, went over his thoughts about the last two games, and worked on getting the Rockets prepared to host Chicago on Wednesday night.

“It’s nice to be back,” McHale said.

His players agreed.

Guard Pat Beverley said the team missed having McHale on the sideline.

“It was good to see his face. Definitely missed him,” Beverley said. “I’m glad he is back, and he came right in talking about the game from his point of view, which is good for this team.”

The Houston Rockets and Omer Asik will probably part ways soon. Here’s ESPN.com with a look at some trade scenarios:

omer asik

The Houston Rockets, as they’ve been telling teams all month, remain on course to trade disgruntled big man Omer Asik by Thursday, according to sources close to the process.

Numerous teams consulted by ESPN.com in recent days have said they are convinced the Rockets will indeed go ahead with a trade headlined by Asik before their self-imposed deadline of Dec. 19, with sources saying Tuesday that the Boston Celtics are increasingly active in the Asik talks.

As a result, the Celtics now are widely regarded as the strongest rivals to the Philadelphia 76ers in terms of the likely destination for Asik, with many rival executives expecting the final form of a trade built around the 7-footer from Turkey to feature at least three teams.

Sources have described the Atlanta Hawks as Houston’s preferred trade partner because the Rockets came to the conclusion last month that, despite their attempts to placate Asik, they eventually would have to give in to the unhappy center’s long-running desire to be moved in the wake of Dwight Howard’s arrival in July. Yet it remains unclear, sources say, how interested Atlanta really is in parting with coveted forward Paul Millsap — who’s considered an ideal frontcourt complement to Howard — in exchange for Asik.

Here’s the Houston Chronicle on Israeli forward Omri Casspi, who has been a great fit as a supporting cast member of the Rockets this season:

Omri Casspi loving NBA life with Houston Rockets

A career that had gotten off to a promising start in Sacramento had seemed to hit bottom in Cleveland. He did not know where basketball would take him next but had begun to accept that he could be headed back to Europe, rather than back to Sacramento this weekend as such a vital part of the Rockets rotation.

Then with one voice message that he still won’t delete from his phone, everything changed. With that call, he not only knew where his career was headed, the confidence that had become so fractured, taking much of his game with it, was revived. All that had gone wrong seemed to have been made right again.

“Coach (Kevin) McHale left me a message over the summer when they started recruiting me and we started talking,” Casspi said. “I still have it. He said he wanted me to play the three and the four. He explained I could spread the floor and help the team win and that he liked the way I compete. That was one of the main reasons I came here. I still have that message and I still listen to it once in a while.

“It was the first time I really talked to a coach that really talked to me. This team was obviously was supposed to be good whether I was going to be here or not. But to be a part of the team that can compete and compete for a championship, after what I’d been through, and then he left me this message that said he loves me and wants me to come and play hard and help and do the things I do. That was just an emotional day, you know.”

Omer Asik and the Houston Rockets are in a tough situation. Asik wants a bigger role, but Dwight Howard is the bigger talent. And while the two have spent time playing next to each other, that does not appear to be a long-term solution. Here’s the Houston Chronicle reporting:

omer asik

Dwight Howard and Chandler Parsons said they understand Omer Asik’s frustrations with his role with the Rockets this season. Asik has started eight of the 10 games this season. He didn’t play on Thursday in New York amidst reports that he was requesting to be traded.

Howard said that understands that Asik is in a tough situation.

“Totally, I understand where he is coming from – his frustration, sharing the floor,” Howard said. “I understand it’s tough for him. The only thing I can do is be his friend off the floor and help him anyway I can. I understand its a tough situation for him, but we are all family and we have to learn to fight through frustrations.”

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