Archive for February 17th, 2011

Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News reports (via blog):

No Antonio McDyess retirement yet

Antonio McDyess, the 36-year-old Spurs forward who as recently as last month had been leaning toward retirement at the end of the season, said Thursday he plans to return for a 15th season.

“My mind is pretty much made up,” McDyess said. “I feel like I’ll be able to lace ‘em up and go again.”

When McDyess joined the Spurs as a free agent in July 2009, his plan was to play two more seasons and call it quits. As an incentive, the Spurs built into McDyess’ contract a third season in 2011-12, of which only $2.64 million is guaranteed — sort of an early retirement present.

The way coach Gregg Popovich has used McDyess this season — sparingly and situationally — has convinced McDyess that he could survive another season. McDyess is playing a career-low 18:06 per game this season, and has missed five games for rest purposes. He is averaging career lows in scoring (5.1 points) and rebounding (5.2 per game), but his shooting percentage (50.2) is up nearly three points from last season.

Mark Kennedy, an AP Drama writer, reports:

The playwright behind the Broadway play “Lombardi” is moving from the gridiron to the hard court.

Eric Simonson is working on “Magic/Bird,” a new play that will chronicle the lives of basketball Hall of Famers Larry Bird and Earvin “Magic” Johnson…

The story will trace the two basketball stars’ rivalry and friendship from their days as rookies in the NBA to their appearance on the Olympic Dream Team in 1992. Johnson and Bird were key parts in the storied struggle between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers during the 1980s.

“Here are these two, amazing at their craft, inspiring to watch, and yet they couldn’t be more different people,” said Kirmser. “There was a fierce competitiveness between them and yet such a great love and respect.”

The six-character play is scheduled to debut on Broadway in 2012.

I am in Los Angeles for 2011 NBA All-Star weekend, which begins Friday and runs through Sunday.

Wednesday night in a hotel near Staples Center I ran into Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant and several of his friends.

Of the bazillion invites I have received to various All-Star festivities, at least two of them mention that Durant will be one of the celebrity hosts.

I told this to Durant, and responded by telling me that he hasn’t agreed to host anything.

Parties can still be great even when the celeb hosts don’t show up, but remember, sometimes the celeb wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place.

–Jeff

D-Rose excited for All-Star

Nick Friedell of ESPN reports:

D-Rose excited for All-Star

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose knows there are pundits out there who still doubt how good his team can be. As an All-Star starter and one of the leading candidates for the NBA MVP award, Rose knows that he will have even higher profile when he walks into the Eastern Conference locker room for the first time during All-Star weekend in Los Angeles.

“Teams know other teams in the league who are good,” Rose said after shootaround before the Bulls play the Spurs on Thursday night. “You know when other teams are ballin’. Like we know the Spurs are a very good team tonight. And you kind of get that respect around the league, even though with some media we’re under the radar as being an OK team even though our record is more than OK. Other players around the league know. That’s the fun thing about it.”

Rose knows that his team has opened up eyes all over the league this year with their play, and he realizes that while the task of climbing to the top of the Eastern Conference is difficult, it’s rewarding to be mentioned alongside the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics.

The AP reports:

The World Anti-Doping Agency could suspend the Turkish drug-testing laboratory that reported an apparent “false positive” for American basketball star Diana Taurasi.

WADA director general David Howman tells The Associated Press the agency has asked the Ankara lab to explain why it declared Taurasi’s samples positive for the banned stimulant modafinil, a decision which led to her contract being terminated by her Turkish club.

James Harden replaces Tyreke Evans in Rookie Challenge game

Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden will replace  injured  Sacramento  Kings  guard Tyreke Evans (plantar fasciitis, left  foot)  on  the Sophomore Team in the 2011 NBA Rookie Challenge game, which pits the league’s best rookies against the best second-year players.

The NBA Rookie Challenge game will be televised live nationally on  TNT  at  9 p.m. ET.

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