Archive for February 17th, 2014

I know you were all wondering about the status of Kareem Rush, so here’s the Los Angeles Times blog with an update:

Kareem Rush not retired from NBA just yet

According to the NBA Development League transactions page, former Lakers guard Kareem Rush retired last month.

In a recent phone interview with The Times, Rush said that’s not the case.

“I’ve retired from the D-League,” he said. “[I’m] not retired from basketball completely.”

Rush, 33, last played in the NBA for the Clippers on Nov. 17, 2009, tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Here’s the Cleveland Plain Dealer reporting on Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving, who on Sunday won the 2014 NBA All-Star game MVP award and now returns regular season reality, where his team has a 20-33 record:

After All-Star MVP award, back to Cavs work for Kyrie Irving

Irving was asked what’s next for the Cavaliers after the All-Star break.

“Just a higher focus level,” he said. “We went into the All-Star break with some momentum and now, coming out, its really important to get that first game and get up for that first game no matter how tired we are.

“Everybody’s rested. It’s just really important to come out with that same focus and play as a team and hopefully continue this streak.”

The Cavs won four straight games heading into the break, including rallying to win at Detroit on Wednesday night, to improve to 20-33. In the weak Eastern Conference, they’re only three games out of the No. 8 spot in the playoffs, currently held by the Charlotte Bobcats, 23-30.

“I think the last couple games before the break we’ve been jelling,” Waiters said. “We’ve just been passing the ball and running the floor, playing team basketball, and it shows. You see the results. I think we’ve got to keep that momentum after the break and hopefully we’ll make the playoffs.”

Sixers are looking for draft picks

The Philadelphia 76ers are rebuilding. And want draft picks. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting:

The 76ers’ focus in the days leading up to Thursday’s NBA trade deadline is acquiring draft picks, according to an Eastern Conference executive.

The franchise wants to gain future compensation in exchange for Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes, and Thaddeus Young, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. With the most cap space in the league and an open roster spot, the Sixers will consider acquiring an expiring contract from a team looking to dump a salary. But that most likely will also involve receiving a draft pick.

As a result, the 76ers are believed to be the most active team in trade talks leading up to the deadline. The Sixers have had discussions with all 29 other NBA franchises.

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on banged-up veteran Heat guard Dwyane Wade:

Different type of All-Star Weekend for Dwyane Wade

An experience that had become routine for Dwyane Wade over the years suddenly was foreign. It was so new Wade for a moment thought about returning in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game at Smoothie King Center. Then he thought against it.

“I’m normally in there at the end,” Wade said. “It was a part of me that really wanted to be in there. I came out in the second half and I felt a lot better. I wanted to play but I decided not to for the better of our season.”

As expected, the night ended earlier than usual for Wade in the Eastern Conference’s 163-155 victory against the West. Wade left with 5 minutes, 49 seconds remaining in the third quarter, becoming a cheerleader the remainder.

He experienced the game from a “different lense.”

“Just on my vet stuff this year,” Wade said. “I actually got it from other vets. I’ve been around guys when they were older and how they approached the All-Star Game, where they kind of let the younger guys go out there and enjoy themselves and get a feel for the game and have fun. I just kind of chilled a little bit.”

The Toronto Raptors are having a fine season, but like every squad in the league, deals are possible. Here’s the Toronto Sun reporting:

Masai Ujiri has always said he would let the players dictate which way he went with things and he’s not backing off that now.

That does not mean he definitely won’t be busy between now and Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, just that he’s not going to be out there seeking moves as hard as he would have been had the Raptors not got on a bit of a roll and shown their President and GM something over these last couple of months.

“I’ll be right here (waving his cellphone) waiting and we’ll see what happens,” he said of his plans between now and the trade deadline. “I never know what to expect. Sometimes it’s quiet until the last minute. Sometimes it’s busy. As far as our team, I think the team has played well. They have done well with the platform so keep trying to grow.

“These guys are taking the opportunity and I said we would give them the platform, and if they continue to grow we’ll see how we do but we haven’t done anything yet,” Ujiri cautioned. “I don’t want to call out the conference, I can’t do that, but it’s the measuring stick and I think we have to keep that in mind.”

Here’s the New York Post reporting on Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, who had a memorable All-Star weekend in New Orleans:

Carmelo Anthony sets NBA All-Star game three-pointer record

It was an eventful All-Star weekend for Carmelo Anthony off the court in New Orleans, where he declared he’d take “a pay cut’’ to re-sign with Knicks if he likes their roster plans. Anthony then made his on-court experience a memorable one by setting an All-Star Game 3-point record.

Anthony’s smile, which rarely has been seen this season, were in abundance in the Big Easy. The Knicks superstar admitted he would have a tough time enjoying All-Star Weekend because of the club’s 20-32 record, but he still had a blast — even if he fell short of winning the MVP. Kyrie Irving of West Orange, N.J., won it with 31 points and 14 assists.

Anthony scored 20 of his 30 points in the first half and hit a huge 3-pointer with 1:04 left to key the Eastern Conference’s 163-155 come-from-behind All-Star Game shootout victory over the West at New Orleans Arena. He finished with eight 3-pointers, breaking the record of six, co-held by LeBron James and Mark Price.

Here’s the Boston Globe reporting on LeBron James, who has gotten attention recently for his opinion as to which NBA legends would belong on a basketball version of Mount Rushmore:

lebron james

LeBron James has had all weekend to reconsider the list of players on his basketball version of Mount Rushmore.

Last week, the four-time MVP said his top four players were Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Oscar Robertson, adding that one of those will eventually be replaced by him. Those statements sparked a debate at All-Star Weekend about the game’s greatest players.

James stuck to his original list, but said there are plenty of other names who could be considered.

“Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar], Kobe [Bryant], it’s hard to knock anybody off,” James said. “There needs to be another mountain. It’s too many guys. I was definitely thinking of Kobe as the top four of all time. I think about Kareem for sure. There’s so many greats that played this game.”

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