Archive for September 3rd, 2012

Could Dirk Nowitzki really be done in two years?

Nothing has changed for Nowitzki in terms of how he views his basketball future once this contract expires. He has consistently said since he signed the four-year, $80 million deal that it could be his last NBA contract.

Nowitzki’s loyalty to the Mavs, and Cuban, hasn’t wavered. He made that clear later during his impromptu weekend Twitter Q&A when asked why he doesn’t try to jump to a so-called super team.

“I bleed blue,” Nowitzki replied.

Maybe the quality of the Mavs’ roster will influence Nowitzki’s decision on whether to continue his career into his late 30s. Maybe he’ll figure he needs to play for a legitimate contender to muster the competitive fire at that point in life.

– Reported by Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas

After a summer of dramatic renovations left the Rockets’ roster nearly unrecognizable from the previous one, the remodeling high above the court at Toyota Center could prove even more stunning.

It seems certain to be more long-lasting.

For the start of the team’s 10th season in Toyota Center, which will include the return of All-Star Weekend to Houston, the Rockets will unveil widespread upgrades to the arena, including the move to high-definition video screens billed as the largest in any North American arena.

“We wanted to make sure we created a better experience,” Rockets CEO Tad Brown said. “We think this is going to put us on another level.”

The entire project — from upgraded Wi-Fi to a new control room to run the video screen and game presentation — will cost roughly $15 million.

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

Mbah a Moute, who will turn 26 years old on Sept. 9, underwent surgery to repair his right patella tendon in May, following the 2011-’12 season.

“I feel good. The knee is getting better,” Mbah a Moute said. “I’m right on track to be back for the beginning of the season. I’m just excited to be healthy again.”

Mbah a Moute was a restricted free agent last year during the lockout and got a late start with the Bucks due to his contract situation, as Milwaukee matched a four-year, $19 million offer made by the Denver Nuggets. Then he immediately encountered problems with his knee, problems that continued throughout the season and limited him to 43 games (22 starts).

“At this point I’m not sure,” Mbah a Moute said of being ready on the opening day of training camp in early October. “My goal is to be ready for camp, but if not, make sure I’m ready. I don’t want to rush that.”

– Reported by Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on August 31

Wizards have made some key changes

Since their fourth consecutive lottery season ended, the Wizards have said farewell, directly and otherwise, to Rashard Lewis, Andray Blatche, Roger Mason Jr., James Singleton, Maurice Evans, Brian Cook and Morris Almond. Those spots have been filled by Bradley Beal, Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza, A.J. Price and Martell Webster – a rookie and four players with at least three years of NBA experience, all under the age of 30. Cartier Martin re-signed.

After announcing that Webster had inked his new deal, Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said on Wednesday that the team would “in all likelihood” go with 14 players when training camp begins on Oct. 2 at George Mason. “But that remains to be seen,” Grunfeld said. “We’ll see what opportunities are there. If other opportunities come up, we’ll look at them.”

The Wizards have a mix of veterans and youngsters, with eight players on the roster – Wall, Beal, Jordan Crawford, Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker, Shelvin Mack, Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton – with two seasons or less of NBA experience. They have players who can attack the glass in Nene, Emeka Okafor and Booker. They have shooters in Beal, Webster and Martin. They even have a backup point guard in Price.

– Reported by Michael Lee of the Washington Post (Blog)

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