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Tuesday, March 3
 

Visit the HoopsHype.com Forums to discuss the latest news and rumors in the NBA / You also can check out rumors from back in the day in the Rumors Archive.

Swift's agent, Andy Miller, said Tuesday that Swift "is going to be a Phoenix Sun at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later." Swift is in New Jersey today but is planning to be in Miami by Wednesday to take a physical and sign a pro-rated veteran's minimum contract with the Suns. Because Swift's contract was bought out Sunday, he would be playoff eligible for the Suns should they reach the postseason. Arizona Republic

"David Griffin has worked really hard to make this happen," Miller said of the Suns' senior vice president of basketball operations. "He's always done a great job of being proactive and making us feel comfortable." Arizona Republic

We're getting near decision time for Luther Head, who clears waivers today. The Nets, as of this hour, are a longshot: Bartelstein wants a guarantee that his kid will play, and the Nets are telling him that they can't offer that, obviously. And management isn't going to spend $215K for somebody who's going to play mop-up. Newark Star-Ledger

The Houston Rockets today announced they have signed guard/forward James White to a 10-day contract. White becomes the 12th GATORADE Call-Up of the 2008-09 NBA Development League season, and the 130th overall since the league began play in 2001. NBA.com

The Denver Nuggets have suspended Carmelo Anthony for one game for an "in-game transgression" Sunday against Indiana. "There is a code of conduct that we take very seriously, especially from a leader and co-captain," Rex Chapman, vice president of player personnel, said Monday. "Carmelo knows this and regrets what happened. He is a very competitive person and made a poor decision in the heat of the moment. We look forward to having him back on Thursday and will have no further comment at this time." AP

In Denver's previous game at Indiana, Karl planned to sub out Anthony at the timeout with 1:13 left in the third quarter. A furious Anthony defied his coach and walked out of the timeout huddle onto the floor — and stayed in for the rest of the quarter. Of the suspension, Karl said: "It's basketball and respecting the game. (He) crossed the line. I've done it as a player. I don't think I've ever been suspended, but I've done things because of passion and emotion. I talk a lot about thin lines. There's a thin line between emotional mistakes and passion. A very thin line. Melo wanted to win that game, and the stress and the emotion went the wrong way." Denver Post

"My whole thing is, I don't like taking away a player that hurts your ability to win a game, but there are certain circumstances where, I think, that stand has to be made. Obviously, we felt it had to be made. We were a little bit more worried about what would happen if we didn't do it. This whole season has been based upon doing things the right way, more than ever. And this falls in line with that." Denver Post

Anthony has turned down media requests this morning. "He's a competitive guy," said Calvin Andrews, one of the agents who represents Anthony. "He made a bad decision." Denver Post

Who's the real Superman, Shaq? "I don't have to answer that," O'Neal said before Tuesday's matchup in Orlando. "My record speaks for itself. By the end of the year, I'll be top five in scoring. Not bad for a skinny kid who came here in 1992. When it's all said and one, I'll either have four or five (championships). That's a fact. So it really doesn't matter to me who tires to take a name. We all know who the real (one) is. But I don't have to talk." Arizona Republic

Shaquille O'Neal is back where he spent the first four years of his career, staying in his house, driving his tricked-out, red truck, going to his old barber shop and facing the Orlando Magic. "I'll probably get some boos tonight, but it's all respect," O'Neal said. Arizona Republic

O'Neal on facing Howard: "If they play me one on one, it'll be two big guys going at it. But I doubt that they'll play me one on one. I doubt it but we'll see. It'll be two guys going up, just like me vs. Patrick, me vs. Yao and hopefully the refs let us bang around a little bit. Hopefully, there ain't no flopping and they'll let us play. No matter what happens, I'm the shogun." Arizona Republic

He also often sends out goofy pictures of himself, like this one of him getting a haircut somewhere in Orlando today: Shaq has more than 200,000 followers and unlike other celebrities, he does interact with others and Twitter and answer their questions. He also will often tweet when he's out in public, writing that the first person who comes up to him and says they saw the tweet will get a prize, such as NBA tickets. He's in Orlando today to play the Magic tonight at Amway Arena. Tomorrow night, he plays another one of his former teams, the Miami Heat and last Sunday, he played the Lakers, another former team. Orlando Sentinel

Brian Scalabrine will be out until April 1st, Doc Rivers just reported. Boston Herald

Whether Rubio will be in the draft or remain in his native Spain because of a prohibitive buyout that will eat up much of his income from a first NBA contract: "Rubio sounds like he's not coming out. He's got a huge buyout. Unless he takes everyone by surprise, I think people are expecting him to stay." Another: "If I was a betting man, I'd say he isn't" coming. Another, without hesitation: "Staying." Sacramento Bee

Why Rubio is a better prospect than Jennings, the American who broke ranks and turned pro in Italy this season rather than play a freshman season in college: "He has a genius basketball IQ. He's one of those guys who has that innate feel for the game." Another: "I think Brandon Jennings is way risky. He's so small. (Listed at 6-1.) If you line all the dots up and line all the dots down, the dots go down a lot further." Another: "You just watched this guy (Rubio) play against the Redeem Team (in the Olympics), and he's effective in that setting and at that age. As opposed to Brandon Jennings, who's not even an effective player in a middle-of-the-road European league. ... The comparison he (Jennings) gets most often is Kenny Anderson. How high in the draft do you want to go to draft Kenny Anderson?" Sacramento Bee

The Minnesota Timberwolves are dropping prices on 95 percent of the season tickets for the 2009-10 season and holding prices flat on the remaining 5 percent, owner Glen Taylor announced at a press conference Tuesday. The Timberwolves also introduced a new nine-month, zero-interest payment plan for all season ticket purchases, and a “No-Risk Pledge” that guarantees season ticket holders a full refund for their unused tickets if they lose their jobs in 2009. Business Journals

Still, Falk -- whose new book "The Bald Truth" addresses his career and business philosophy -- discusses pro basketball in a manner that uncannily resembles the discord dividing Hollywood, warning players that while owners are genuinely concerned about severe economic conditions, they're also better equipped to weather the storm. "Long term, the players and the owners can't live without each other ... but the owners can live without the players longer," Falk told me. "That's just reality." Variety.com

Falk has publicly cautioned players that NBA owners' pleas of poverty aren't mere posturing, and that the parties must take a long-term approach that insures each side's continuing viability. "When you get done negotiating, you want to have some goodwill between the partners, because they have to work with each other," he said -- a goal seemingly long lost amid SAG's protracted talks. As for the many NBA owners who are losing money, he added, "You can't have a system where the people you're working for are unable to employ you. That's a defeat." Variety.com

That would be Miles Rawls, the commissioner of the Goodman League down in Barry Farms. The same guy who rocks the mic throughout those classic summer league games, saying, for example, "Man, they bumping like a [bad word]" when players make contact. The same guy who once pointed in the general direction of me, a Slate editor and a Comcast SportsNet employee and saying 'Man, we got white folks in the house. When you've got white folks in the house, you know you're special." That must have made for some interesting Presidential banter, I figured. "We were up by 15," Rawls remembered in a phone conversation this afternoon. "I told [Obama], 'You can tell them to warm up the limo, Sir, because this is a wrap here.' " Washington Post

"The usher told me I had to be on my best behavior," Rawls recalled. "I said 'For what?' She said, 'The President's sitting right in front to you.' I said, 'Well, he best enjoy the show, because y'all know I don't pull no punches. For $285, y'all know what I do. I have me a good time.' " Washington Post

Indeed, the man who has hosted dozens of NBA stars in Barry Farms over the summer has gone after Kobe and Dwyane Wade. He's gone after LeBron--"He listens, he gives you a little, smile but he stays focused," Rawls said. And he's gone after Shaq--"exchanging pleasantries," as he calls it. "I told Diesel he was going down," Rawls said. "He showed me his four fingers, [like] that's how many rings he's got." Washington Post

"Heckling and having a good time are two different animals," he explained. "I wasn't heckling the President and I don't heckle the players. I talk about their weaknesses. We was having a good time. He was talking trash and I was talking trash. I couldn't believe he was that laidback and real. I loved it." Washington Post

"Where can you do that, sit there and talk smack with the President of the United States face to face?" he asked me. "He's the President, but he's subject to my fun too. I have a no-holds-barred rule." "But he enjoyed it," Rawls added. "Trust me." Washington Post

Joe SmithUnconfirmed reports maintain Smith already has one of those wink-wink deals in place to rejoin the Cavs once he tiptoes across the waiver wire. My sources assert the Lakers and Hornets - prepared to commit past this season to Smith - are giving the Cavs stiff competition. Cleveland also is in the running for Gooden, but someone in the know says he's leaning toward the Spurs over the Mavericks. Both will make their decision known today. New York Post

Coach Phil Jackson said he would speak soon with general manager Mitch Kupchak about signing an experienced player such as Joe Smith or Drew Gooden to fill the vacant 15th spot on the roster for the stretch run and the playoffs. "We're definitely going to talk about that," Jackson said. "We'll talk a little bit when we have an opportunity." New York Daily News

The Mavericks made their pitch to free-agent big men Joe Smith and Drew Gooden. But it is believed they are well down the list of possibilities for the two players. Dallas Morning News

Smith likely will clear the NBA waiver system Wednesday morning. At that time, the Cavs are expected to offer him a formal contract, and multiple league sources have said it is Smith's plan to accept and join the Cavs as soon as possible. The team may have some talks with former Cav Drew Gooden, who has equal high regard in the team locker room. Smith's defensive ability and Gooden's health - he's been battling a groin injury since January and may need surgery to repair a sports hernia after the season - are playing into the decision. Cleveland Plain Dealer

Trying to be politically correct and not to get ahead of themselves, the Cavaliers showed some restraint and talked in generalities and possibilities when it comes to the impending arrival of Joe Smith this week. They, however, could not hide their enthusiasm or affection for Smith, who was put on waivers by the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday after completing a buyout agreement Sunday night. "He's one of the best teammates I've ever had and I'd love to have him back," LeBron James said. "We know what type of guy he is - he's a true professional. Teams always want him." Cleveland Plain Dealer

The Suns might sign an Amaré Stoudemire stunt double this week. Nine-year NBA veteran Stromile Swift, a 6-foot-10 power forward, will clear waivers Wednesday and could sign a prorated veteran's minimum contract with the Suns for the remainder of the season. Like Swift, Drew Gooden and Joe Smith are free-agent power forwards who were recently bought out and have the Suns' interest. However, Gooden is expected to sign with San Antonio while Smith figures to pick Cleveland. Arizona Republic

Agent Mark Bartelstein confirmed that the Heat is one "of about a dozen" teams that has inquired about guard Luther Head, who received a buyout over the weekend from the Rockets and now is playoff-eligible for another team as a free agent. "We've talked to the Heat a little bit," said Bartelstein, whose client will clear waivers Wednesday. "There are about four or five teams that we feel might be a good fit." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Don't expect the Magic to go beyond the trade that brought in point guard Rafer Alston --- even with some intriguing bought-out big men now on the market. "I like our team," Magic General Manager Otis Smith said. Players such as Joe Smith and Drew Gooden are available after being bought out of their contracts by Oklahoma City and Sacramento, respectively. Former Houston Rockets guard Luther Head also is available. Otis Smith said he would not bring back Adonal Foyle, whom he traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. Smith had said after trading Foyle as part of the Alston deal that he would consider having Foyle back as insurance. Orlando Sentinel

After the Olympics, your second dream is winning an NBA title. Can you imagine not doing that with the Mavericks - and maybe not as the go-to guy, but a role player? Dirk Nowitzki: Of course it would be more exciting to do it in Dallas and being the franchise player. The best thing would be me carrying the team to the title. But the other teams have gotten so strong, also through some unfair trades - Pau Gasol to Los Angeles and Kevin Garnett to Boston. Maybe I will see if it helps changing teams in like three years. Maybe it won’t be fun any more or I can’t keep up with the athleticism anymore. Maybe I will in Europe again. I can imagine all of that. 5ivemag.com

An NBA source said Marbury took a $2.2 million deduction from his $20.8 million contract to be bought out by the Knicks. Marbury made up more than half that by receiving a $1.2 million guaranteed contract from the Celtics from their mid-level salary exception. His contract, signed Friday, was expected to be prorated, but ESPN.com reported he was receiving the full $1.2 million and $52,174 per game the rest of the regular season. Boston Globe

Gooden's expiring salary is $7,151,183; the Kings saved $1.8M for liberating him. Smith's expiring salary is $4.795M; the Thunder saved his remaining guarantee. New York Post

What if Hamilton had known that Billups was going to be traded? The normally affable Hamilton was so upset by the trade that he didn’t talk to the media for several days. Would Rip have signed his contract extension without Chauncey on the roster? Did the Pistons wait until the contract was signed before making the deal? “If Rip would have knew that this deal was going on, I just don’t know that he would have signed that extension,” Billups said. “It was kind of funny to me that they announced this trade the same day that he signed. I really don’t know. … It just seemed weird to me. He signed that extension three days before the trade. … I think it might have been a little different if all this was exposed early.” Detroit Free Press

“If I do something different and leave, then I come back and people are gonna be like, ‘How are you gonna do that to us?’ ” Billups said. “Now this happens to me, now who are they looking at and saying, ‘How are you gonna do that to Chaunce?’ It’s a double-standard. But that’s just how this game is. I understand that.” Detroit Free Press

The Denver Nuggets have suspended Carmelo Anthony for one game for an "in-game transgression" Sunday against Indiana. "There is a code of conduct that we take very seriously, especially from a leader and co-captain," Rex Chapman, vice president of player personnel, said Monday. "Carmelo knows this and regrets what happened. He is a very competitive person and made a poor decision in the heat of the moment. We look forward to having him back on Thursday and will have no further comment at this time." ESPN.com

Shaq was asked by CBSSports' Ken Berger recently if Howard was the closest thing to being the next Shaq. O’Neal scoffed. "No. Not at all. He’s a good player. He can jump. But no," he said. "I was the type of player that they had to have secret meetings and change the rules and do all that. Probably never be another me. He’s a good player, but everything he’s done, I’ve invented. So I’m not impressed." Sports Illustrated asked O’Neal --- who sports a Superman tattoo and often wears Superman pajama bottoms to practice --- whether Howard’s Superman shtick bothered him. "Doesn’t bother me. I can’t be impressed by something I invented in ’92 (his first year in Orlando) . I mean, you look at what he is doing, I’ve been there and done that," O’Neal said. "Every street he is driving down in Orlando, I have been on that street. Every nightclub, every restaurant. . .. I have been there and done that. Orlando Sentinel

Magic center Dwight Howard said he was "shocked" at some of the things Suns center Shaquille O'Neal has said about him. "I try not to think about it. Some of the things I hear, I am shocked to hear him say that," said Howard, his trademark smile gone. What has Shaq said? Well, it’s all pretty much a variation on the same adolescent theme: I’m the original NBA Superman and Dwight can’t carry my, er, cape. "You know, it’s normal for a kid to copycat his idol, but you know he can never be this good," Shaq has said. Orlando Sentinel

"I can’t stop Shaq from saying anything. I just wouldn’t expect that coming from him," Howard said. "But the only thing I would expect from him is that he would try to help me improve my game and that’s it." Has he? "No," Howard said. "Like all the other big guys (do), you know, like Hakeem (Olajuwon), Pat Ewing, Dikembe (Mutombo), Bill Russell, David Robinson . . .tried to help me improve…Taking shots at somebody else, I wouldn’t do that." Orlando Sentinel

Sunday's Suns upset of the Los Angles Lakers began a three-game walk through his NBA life - Lakers on Sunday, a visit to O'Neal's original team in Orlando on Tuesday and then his first return to Miami since leaving the Heat. "Call this the 'I Hate Shaq Trip,' " O'Neal said. Arizona Republic

O'Neal turns 37 Friday and continues to silence the skeptics. "I never really worry about what Earthlings say," he said. "I know what I have to do. I know what I want to accomplish." Since O'Neal heard his name in trade deadline talks, he has looked agile and lively while averaging 25 points over six games. "Shaq plays better when he's mad," teammate Grant Hill said. Arizona Republic

Initially, O'Neal was content to emphasize his advantage over all NBA big men. "I'm the only player," O'Neal said, "who looks at each and every centre and says to myself, 'That's barbecued chicken down there.' " Toronto Globe and Mail

After several seasons of controversy ranging from legal issues to on-the-court altercations that led to mountains of suspensions, Artest is finally figuring out how to keep his nose clean. "This is the first season I've had where I can just let the story happen instead of me creating the story," Artest says. "That's been different for me. I can just go out there and play basketball and not worry about how people will look at me after the suspension, or how people will look at me after getting in trouble at practice. "It's been an adjustment," he admits. "A good adjustment." HoopsWorld

Just keep reminding him. “With Boris, it's always a cat-and-mouse game. He knows a lot, so you have to find ways to motivate him, almost trick him into what you want him to do sometimes,” said guard Raja Bell, Diaw's teammate here and in Phoenix. “Naturally the way he plays the game is unselfish – be that guy who makes everyone else happy. But when he's your best option, he has to realize it and take advantage of it.” Charlotte Observer

Long before Stephon Marbury signed with the Boston Celtics, his former teammate, Kevin Garnett, was bombarded with questions on whether or not he would accept Marbury into the fold. “I’m not opposed to Steph. I feel Steph still has a lot of basketball in him. I know his IQ is very, very high. He is one of the best point guards out there to play with. I wouldn’t be opposed to that,” Garnett said after Boston lost to the Knicks on Jan. 4. Providence Journal

“He was telling me all about playing with the group of guys that I’m going to be playing with,” Marbury said. “He spoke about how much fun it’s been and how much fun I’m going to have and how basketball is fun again and you feel that. You feel it when you come into the locker room. Just everything about the organization – everyone is on one page, there’s no division, everybody is trying to do one thing and that’s win a basketball game to win a championship.” Providence Journal

"I don't know," LeBron James said Thursday, when asked about Stephon Marbury's potential with the Celtics, before offering some less-than-convincing compliments about Marbury's skills. One suspects nothing's really changed in the King's mind from 2007, when James had said of Marbury, his 2004 Olympic teammate, "I couldn't have a guy like that on my team." NBA.com

And Paxson did. The following quotes are courtesy of WMVP-AM (1000) from Pax's interview with Steve Kashul. "I've talked to Vinny about this. And our future is Derrick. There's no secret of that. There are times that I personally feel - and Vinny knows this - that I feel he should be on the floor at the end of games. Chicago Sun-Times

In the meantime, Pau Gasol offered a fairly blunt assessment of the Lakers' so-called Bench Mob, which played another disjointed game in Sunday's 118-111 loss to the Phoenix Suns. "Youth is a factor," he said without naming names. "Maybe there's a little bit of a lack of maturity and experience at some points. I think we all have to understand our roles, whatever that role is, and what is best for the team and understand what you need to do, not what you like to do. "Some nights, it might be getting three steals and giving four assists instead of scoring 10 points or 15 points. Some nights those points are going to be needed. It's just a matter of understanding that and doing the best for the team, and sacrificing yourself sometimes, which some players are more willing to do. Los Angeles Daily News

Randolph still has a headache from last night's elbow from Paul Millsap, but the rookie had no problem throwing down a few more dunks during practice Monday. All the Warriors, in fact, had a blast running an impromptu alley-oop line started by Stephen Jackson. Both Anthonys (Randolph and Morrow) had a couple of nice ones. C.J. Watson swung his feet up to the rim and practically hung upside down after another. The only player missing out? Marcus Williams, who couldn't be persuaded into trying a dunk despite his teammates best efforts. San Francisco Chronicle

Greg OdenThe news just keeps getting worse for Trail Blazers rookie Greg Oden and his mysterious ailing left knee. The Blazers, after evaluating their starting center earlier in the day, announced Monday evening that Oden will miss another seven to 10 days because of his lingering left knee issues. Oden, who chipped his knee cap when he banged knees with Golden State's Corey Maggette Feb. 12 in Oakland, has missed the Blazers' last seven games. Oregonian

According to the Blazers' latest timeline, Oden will miss between four and six more games, which includes pivotal matchups against playoff contenders Denver, Dallas and the Los Angeles Lakers. If he sits out the maximum 10 days, Oden will return just before the team's five-game East Coast trip later this month. Oregonian

Spoke with DeShawn Stevenson before the game and he said that he's undergoing surgery later this week to repair a herniated disk in his lower back. That means his season is officially over. He said it would be roughly two months before he can resume hoops activity. Washington Post

When you look back on the basketball tournament in Beijing and compare it to past successes for Germany, could you tell that the team had gotten older and couldn’t afford to do certain things? Dirk Nowitzki: Honestly, I would say all of the other teams have gotten better. I also said that at the 2007 EuroBasket in Spain, where we were a bit lucky to finish fifth. Even then, I had the feeling that all the other teams had taken a step forward. Younger players had been integrated and even the 12th players had earned minutes and were scoring off pick-and-rolls. Everyone can do everything. A year ago I thought: “We didn’t get any worse, but we also didn’t really get any better. We kind of stood still.” 5ivemag.com

And in 2008? Dirk Nowitzki: Chris Kaman of course brought us some fresh air. It was important that he was in Athens. Despite an injured foot and him being slightly overweight, he really cleaned up under the basket. I can clearly remember some important rebounds against Brazil and Puerto Rico. That was certainly important. He may not have played a great tournament, mainly because of his injury. But even with him, it was clear to see that we as a team are no longer near the top in the world. We wouldn’t have deserved being in the top eight in the world at the Olympics. The way that Greece and Spain took us a part showed that there are two class levels. 5ivemag.com

During a recent trip to Toronto earlier this month, Matt Bonner talked with the media about how the combination of his grandfather - a “Newfie” as he affectionately referred to him - and his wife being from Canada has led him to feel a strong connection to this country. Bonner also recently discovered that he has some cousins who are Canadian. Because of these factors Bonner has decided to file the necessary paperwork to gain his Canadian citizenship. Not only that, but he’s also expressed a strong desire to play the Canadian national team. HoopsAddict.com

“It’s in the process,” Bonner told Hoops Addict. “It’s something that has to get done regardless because my wife is from Toronto and we’re planning on living here. So I’m going to have to get Canadian status at some point.” Besides his own desire to play for Canada, the current coach of the national team, Leo Rautins, is ecstatic about adding a player with the abilities of Bonner to his roster. “I think it’s great for the program but Matt (Bonner) is the kind of guy that is great for the team because he’s a blue collar guy,” Rautins told Hoops Addict while grinning from ear-to-ear. “He’s the kind of guy who is low maintenance and he just wants to play. Even with his wife expecting he’s still said he’ll be in camp and that’s the kind of mentality you can’t put a price on that because other guys see that.” HoopsAddict.com

Kenny NattSources close to the team say the Kings long ago began internal discussions about potential coaching candidates beyond Natt. A coaching search likely would include familiar names, among them former Washington and Kings coach Eddie Jordan, former Detroit and Minnesota coach Flip Saunders and Boston assistant Tom Thibodeau. There could, of course, be additional candidates if there are more NBA firings before the summer. Sacramento Bee

Spoelstra expressed remorse Monday for using profanity in his comments to the media after Saturday's victory. He used an expletive, which aired during the postgame television broadcast, when he described a conversation he had with his team during a late timeout. ''A few people mentioned it to me,'' Spoelstra said of the reaction he received from his comment. ``That's not going to happen too often. It was a passionate game, [and] I thought I'd give you guys an honest account of what happened in that huddle.'' Miami Herald

The NBA is close to a deal that would move NBA TV off Comcast’s digital sports tier and on to digital basic, the same that houses MLB Network. A deal has not been signed, but several sources said one could be inked by this spring, which would mean moving the network by the start of next season. Comcast, the country’s biggest cable operator, would move the network before the start of the 2009-10 season. The upgrade from Comcast’s sports tier to its digital basic tier would add up to 7 million subscribers to NBA TV’s distribution, which stands at 15 million subscribers. SportsBusinessJournal

On a beat- and as much as you see them – did you talk to George Karl, the players and management to let them know what was going on? Chris Tomasson: They kind of knew it was coming. George offered some nice sentiments to me at one point. Several members of the front office gave me their best wishes and what have you. And when the news finally came down, they were very gracious. With the state of the newspaper biz - combined with a declining economy - it doesn’t sound like this will be the first we will hear of a major paper shutting their doors. We are trying our best to stay optimistic, but there is so much so much doom and gloom out there it is difficult. Our situation was understandable, because of how many two newspaper cities are left – except for the mega cities like Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles. Most people thought one day Denver would be down to one paper. But I’m still in the ‘I’ll believe it when I see it mode’ when a city like San Francisco or San Diego – another newspaper that is trouble – that has no newspaper in their major city. If that day comes, that will be a very, very sad day. Beyond The Beat

Chris Tomasson: I think people need to be there at the game in order to form an opinion, or at least talk to a few people before you make sure your opinion isn’t idiotic. Whatever you want to call it – I don’t have any problem with that. What I see is the perforation of the internet – people who are never at the games, they are just sitting in their study in their boxer shorts and just ripping on players or what have you. Because the thing about me, if I write something critical I’m there in the locker room the next day. I’m not running and hiding from anybody. I have to be pretty careful that I have my facts straightened-up and in order. For “bloggers”, you’re not going to get that. You are going to have people taking shots from afar. And if it goes on the internet the way things do these days, it may not be accurate and that’s the impression that is out there. Beyond The Beat

Celtics guard Gabe Pruitt returned to practice yesterday and hopes to play as a reserve in tomorrow's game at New Jersey. Pruitt was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence in Hollywood early last Thursday morning, following the Celtics' game against the Los Angeles Clippers. "This is the first time anything like that has happened to me, and it was scary," Pruitt said. "It's not like I'm an alcoholic or anything, it's just an individual experience, of one night. "I just made a bad decision and I take responsibility for that - getting behind the wheel. I was able to drive. It's not like I was swerving or driving fast, but the fact I got behind the wheel - it's my fault." Boston Globe

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