Archive for February, 2012

Dirk Nowitzki

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowtizki is a member of the 2012 Western conference All-Star team. The NBA champion spoke with reporters in Orlando at NBA All-Star weekend about this season’s crowded schedule:

Question: With all the injuries in the NBA this year, how much do you attribute to the fact that there’s so many games coming so fast?

Dirk Nowitzki: Yeah, we knew that coming in that the schedule was a monster.  It was everyone’s fault.  It was the players’ fault, it was the NBA’s fault.  We knew this was coming for two years and we didn’t do anything about it, so now we have to deal with this shortened season and just play a lot of games.  We’ve got nine games in 12 games coming out of the break, which is a ridiculous number of games.  But we’ve just got to deal with it and go from there.  We’ve just got to fight through it.  We knew coming in it was going to be bad, but you’ve just got to deal with it.

Question: Will we see more teams do what the Spurs did the other day and sit Parker and Duncan?

Nowitzki: We have obviously an older team, and we have a tough stretch coming up.  We have games back to back to back, so I doubt J Kidd or some of those guys are going to play all nine games in 12 days.  I don’t know if it’s going to happen.  But we’ve got to fight through it, hopefully get some of our bodies back.  I don’t know how Roddy is doing, hopefully get him back soon.  I don’t know how long D-West is going to be out, but we’re going to need every healthy body and get through this tough stretch.

rajon rondo

Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo is an Orlando right now as a member of the Eastern conference All-Star team. He was just recently named a replacement for injured Hawks guard Joe Johnson. Here are a few quick words from Rondo with reporters at All-Star weekend:

Question: What have been your impressions of Jeremy Lin?

Rajon Rondo: He’s worked hard.  A lot of people doubt him.  I think he’s a product of hard work, and now it’s paying off.  He seems like a pretty humble guy.  He seems like a good guy.  He’s going to be here for a long time.

Question:  Sitting here right now, has this kind of been the craziest three days you’ve had in the league?

Rondo: Yeah, it’s been jam packed, really, my schedule.  I’ve changed my schedule completely.  I didn’t expect to be here.  I actually found out on my birthday.  It was a good birthday present.  I had to go back home and pack and I had to try to get a ticket situation going and a hotel room, who was coming, who wasn’t coming.  But I’m glad I’m here, and this has been the quietest All Star I’ve had as far as people coming in.  I’ve usually had about 20 people come in, but now it’s about five or six.

Steve Nash remains committed to Suns

Steve Nash
steve nash
Likeable

Nash’s eighth All-Star trip at age 38 is remarkable as the oldest All-Star point guard — ever. But with a 14-20 Suns team, the interest in Nash’s career is what comes next in July free agency and speculation about the March 15 trade deadline.

“It’s up to the team,” Nash said. “I’m happy where I am. I’m not happy with our record. I feel like I made a commitment to the fans and my teammates. But at the same time, I’d understand if the team wanted to make a move, so I’m completely open. To be honest, I just occupy myself with trying to prepare to play and play as well as I can.”

The Suns have made it clear that he would not be traded unless he asked for it. That is not in Nash’s nature.

“I feel like it’s a difficult position for me to demand a trade when I’ve been a part of that community for so long,” Nash said in his 10th Suns season. “I really feel like I owe it to my teammates to do the best I can for the group. I don’t feel like I should be demanding anything.”

– Reported by Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic

 The NBA’s competition committee voted Friday to make the transition rule allowing teams to dress and play 13 players permanent and to shorten and streamline the waiver period, said Stu Jackson, the league’s executive vice president of basketball operations.

The roster rule was approved unanimously by the committee consisting of league and team executives and will be recommended to the Board of Governors for formal adoption pending approval by the players’ union. The waiver period, currently 48 business hours during the season and seven days from the end of the season until August 15, would be changed to 48 hours year-round, including weekends.

The long-held practice of the league maintaining three daily waiver reporting times – 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET – would be replaced by a single daily reporting time of 5 p.m. ET, Jackson said. The changes could take effect as soon as this summer.

The roster rule initially was employed with the intention of allowing teams to dress 13 players but only play 12. It was subsequently decided that all 13 who dressed would be able to play. The committee voted Friday to recommend making the rule permanent.

– Reported by Ken Berger of CBS Sports (Blog)

Andrew Bogut
Andrew Bogut
Top bloke

Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond announced the following update on the injury to Andrew Bogut (7-0, 260):

“On Tuesday (February 21), Andrew had a CT scan performed on his injured left ankle.  The results of the scan were reviewed by Bucks orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Michael Gordon, along with additional foot and ankle specialists who agreed that Bogut’s ankle was healing appropriately and at this time surgery is not indicated.

“Bogut will be allowed to progress to the next stage of his rehabilitation program, and will undergo an additional scan in approximately one month.  The initial recovery period of 8-to-12 weeks has not changed.”

The seventh-year center suffered a fractured left ankle in the win at Houston (January 25) when his left foot landed awkwardly on a Rockets player’s foot after attempting to block a shot in the first period.  In 12 games this season, Bogut averaged 11.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.0 steal and 2.0 blocked shots in 30.0 minutes per contest.

LeBron James
lebron james
Keeping his dunk talent in games

Yet even after saying he would compete in the slam-dunk contest when it was held in Dallas in 2010, Miami Heat forward LeBron James has never participated in this aerial dynamic contest during his nine seasons in the NBA. And he knows the fans would love to see him fly through the sky with the greatest of ease.

“That’s just not me,” James said during media availability today at the player’s swanky hotel. “I’m not a dunk contest type of guy.

“I’m an in-game dunker. I kind of improvise during the game.”

– Reported by Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Dwight Howard keeps quiet on future

Dwight Howard
dwight howard
Might be traded in March

Howard faced a swarm of media for 35 minutes during an Eastern Conference All-Star player availability session at the Hilton Orlando, and the Orlando Magic superstar said he would only discuss this weekend.

“The situation right now is All-Star weekend,” Howard said when he was asked whether the weekend will be bittersweet because of his trade request.

“That’s the only thing that matters right now. This is the moment. This is All-Star weekend. We’re going to have fun and we’re going to enjoy ourselves. All that stuff can go on after All-Star weekend. But for right now, my focus is on having a great time, being a great host to all these great players that you see around us. And this is Jeremy Lin’s first All-Star. So, I’m going to make sure I get with him and have some fun with Jeremy Lin.”

– Reported by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel

DeMarcus Cousins
demarcus cousins
Must tolerate being on Kings

Lakers All-Star center Andrew Bynum was asked for his opinion of Kings center DeMarcus Cousins.

I guess he feels bad for Cousins.

“He’s a good player, definitely coming up,” Bynum said. “It’s terrible that he has to play in Sacramento. He could take his talents somewhere and really help a team.”

Terrible?

“Yeah,” Bynum said. “It’s not working out.”

– Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee

Read NBA fan opinion and share your views in this basketball forum topic.

Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony
Likes the feel of the basketball

Carmelo Anthony has heard the talk that he’s selfish and can’t play with Jeremy Lin. Both, he said on Friday, are not true.

“I love playing with Jeremy Lin,” Anthony said at the NBA All-Star Weekend media day. “I love playing with the guys on the team. As far as sharing the spotlight, I’ve been in this game a long time. I’m not going nowhere. The Knicks are not going anywhere. The spotlight’s not going anywhere. If we do what we have to do, everybody will share the spotlight.”

Anthony suffered a groin injury six minutes into Lin’s first Knicks start on Feb. 6 and didn’t play again until Feb. 20. In between, Lin became an international sensation and the question of whether Anthony could co-exist with him became front-and-center chatter…

For Anthony, the idea that he’s selfish doesn’t match up with what he was trying to do before Lin’s emergence, which was play point-forward while hurt for a struggling Knicks squad.

“The only thing that really affected me was the selfish part,” Anthony said. “I was really like, ‘Where did that come from?’ . . . I went out there and tried to play hurt. It didn’t work. I should have sat down, but I didn’t.”

– Reported by Anthony Rieber of New York Newsday

Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin
Invented basketball, apparently

Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. who tweeted derogatory things about Jeremy Lin saying the Knicks point guard was getting all of the attention solely because he was Chinese-American, and Spike Lee were seen chatting courtside for an extended time last night.

“Jeremy Lin is a good player, but all the hype is because he’s Asian,” the WBC welterweight champion tweeted earlier this month. “Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise.’’

Lee immediately took to Twitter to respond to Mayweather’s comments and defend Lin.

“Floyd Mayweather I Hope You Watched Jeremy Hit The Gamewinning 3 Pointer With .005 Seconds Left.Our Guy Can BALL PLAIN AND SIMPLE.RECOGNIZE.”

After last night’s chat, it appeared Lee and Mayweather had made peace.

“Floyd Mayweather And I Had A Great Conversation Courtside,” Lee tweeted after the game. “We’re MAD COOL.ALL LOVE.2 Brotha’s.YA-DIG.’’

– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post

Kevin Love
Kevin Love
Stomps the competition

At the all-star break, nine teams in the NBA’s tough Western Conference have records better than the Timberwolves, who are 17-17, equaling their victory total of last season. The top eight teams go to the playoffs.

Can the Wolves, at this juncture, dare think about playoffs?

“Interestingly enough, I think (coach Rick Adelman) has put them into a place now that we will be striving to try to get into the playoffs,” Wolves owner Glen Taylor said Thursday. “Even though we’re 10th, we’re just (one game) out of eighth. So that’s certainly all achievable if things go well.

“There’s no reason for them not to try that and work hard for it. It’s going to be tough because there are so many other teams that are so close. But I can’t believe that the guys, now that they’ve seen what they can do in the first half of the season, won’t put that as part of their goal.”

– Reported by the St. Paul Pioneer Press

Pau Gasol
pau gasol
Finesse big-man

The Lakers would like the NBA to take a closer look at Brendan Haywood’s hard foul against Pau Gasol late in Thursday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks. Haywood knocked Gasol to the court with a double forearm shiver to the head.

Brown said he believed it should have been ruled a flagrant foul, with Haywood perhaps drawing an ejection for thumping Gasol.

The officiating crew, led by veteran Mike Callahan, whistled Haywood for a shooting foul, however.

“After reviewing it on tape, I think the refs missed that,” Brown said. “I don’t know how anybody could think he was going for the ball. I don’t think it was intentional, but that’s not the definition of a flagrant foul.”

Brown said he expected a league review.

“That was definitely not a normal foul,” he said.

– Reported by Elliot Teaford of the LA Daily News

Jeremy Lin rookie card sells for $21,580

CSN Bay Area reports:

In case you had any doubts about the Jeremy Lin phenomenon reaching new heights of “Linsanity,” (sorry, but at least one pun is obligatory) there’s new evidence it has yet to reach its peak.

Consider that Lin’s rookie player card, featuring him as a member of the Golden State Warriors and autographed by the former Palo Alto High star, sold for $21,580 on eBay Thursday.

The auction had 36 bids.The seller, Yair Rozmaryn of New York, reportedly purchased the card for $1,000. He made the buy after two starts by Lin.

Mavs listening but not looking for deals

Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas reports:

Mark Cuban likes this Mavericks roster a lot. He’s said he’s not actively looking to make any changes before the March 15 trade deadline.

However, Cuban and Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson will still take calls.

Cuban always says the Mavs will be “opportunistic” in the trade market. But unlike a couple of years ago, when he acknowledged that the Mavs wanted to make a major move weeks before shipping Josh Howard to Washington in a blockbuster deal, the Mavs’ front office isn’t planning to be aggressive over the next few weeks.

“We’re not looking to change unless someone makes us an offer we can’t refuse,” Cuban said. “We’re not looking to shake anything up. We think we’ve got a good team that hasn’t played its best basketball yet.”

Stephen Curry
stephen curry
Terrific player when feet and ankles don’t hurt

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry suffered a right foot injury against the Suns during last night’s game and will not be attending All-Star Weekend festivities here, per his agent Lance Young.

Young, via email, said the injury was to a tendon in Curry’s foot, and “nothing with his ankle.” But he said that it would prevent Curry making the trip here, where he was scheduled to defend his title in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge.

Rather than making the trip, Young said Curry would rest and rehab his injury this weekend. He’s already missed nine games this season with an ankle injury.

Curry missed a layup with 2:29 remaining in the first quarter and landed awkwardly. He went to the locker room and tried to come back just before halftime, but was unable to return to the game.

– Reported by Sekou Smith of NBA.com (Blog)

Derrick Rose says back pain is gone

Derrick Rose
derrick rose
Quicker than light

Derrick Rose spoke to reporters for the first time since his five-game absence prior to tipoff of Wednesday’s 110-91 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

It was his second straight game since returning to the lineup, having scored 23 points and handing out six assists in nearly 35 minutes in Monday night’s win over the Atlanta Hawks.

“I felt good. If anything, I was just trying to test myself, trying to make sure that I still have it,” said Rose. “I hit a couple of shots, some of them I usually hit, I missed. I just tried to play my game, that’s aggressive and it started off pretty good.”

He followed that up with 16 points and seven assists in 30 minutes against Milwaukee and said his back is no longer a concern.

“I’m not worried about it anymore,” said Rose. “I don’t feel any pain anymore.”

– Reported by Christopher Cason of CSN Chicago

Kevin Martin
kevin martin
Likes to shoot

On Tuesday, Kevin Martin spoke about his happiness with the Rockets.

“I’m still in a great situation,” he said. “I’m still on a good team. I’m still helping the team win.”

On Wednesday, he read an Internet report that it is an open secret he is not happy.

“I think it’s an inappropriate article,” Martin said. “A writer must be starving for attention. He’s not going to bring a distraction around our team. I’m the team’s leading scorer, and we’re in the playoff hunt. I don’t understand how I could not be happy about that. Basically, he’s just making it up.

“Individually and team-wise, we’re doing pretty well.”

– Reported by Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (Blog)

Javaris Crittenton arrested near Atlanta

Javaris Crittenton
Javaris Crittenton
Some money, mo problems

Former NBA [player] Javaris Crittenton was arrested outside Atlanta this morning — after he allegedly shattered the speed limit in his black Porsche … then refused to cooperate with police.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ, Javaris was pulled over for going over 60 in a 45 — and when the cop wrote up the ticket … Javaris refused to sign it, something you have to do to acknowledge receipt of the citation.

As a result, we’re told the officer asked Javaris to step out of the vehicle — and Javaris refused again.

– Reported by TMZ

Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan
Shot-caller

Former NBA star and current Bobcats owner Michael Jordan filed suit in a Chinese court against Qiaodan Sports Company Limited, a sportswear and footwear manufacturer, for unauthorized use of his name.

In a statement released through his spokeswoman, Jordan says he’s worked hard to establish his name and calls the issue “deeply disappointing to see a company build a business off my Chinese name without my permission, use the number 23 and even attempt to use the names of my children.”

– Reported by the Associated Press

Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo
A quick little character.

Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo has been named by NBA  Commissioner  David  Stern  to replace injured East All-Star guard Joe Johnson  (injured  left knee) of the Atlanta Hawks in the 2012 NBA All-Star Game in Orlando. This is Rondo’s third All-Star Game selection.

Replacing  Johnson  in the Three-Point Contest is Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, a 2012 NBA All-Star.

A lot of people thought Hawks forward Josh Smith would be named a replacement. Not just because he’s Johnson’s teammate. Smith is this season is averaging 16.0 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.5 steals and 2.13 blocks per game. Many people thought he was more worthy an All-Star than Johnson in the first place.

As for Rondo, for the season he’s putting up 14.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 9.5 assists and 1.64 steals per game, while shooting a terrific 48.5% from the field. Fantastic stats. Rondo has missed games due to both injury and suspension. But he is playing on an All-Star level.

Durant is a great addition to the three-point shootout. It’s a more interesting contest when stars are involved.

The  2012  NBA  All-Star  Game, which will air live at 7 p.m. ET on TNT and ESPN  Radio  in  the  U.S.,  and  reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories  in  more  than 40 languages, will be played at Amway Center in Orlando on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012.

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