HoopsHype rumors

August 16, 2011 | 08:11 PM ET Update

San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker stated definitively Tuesday that he will play in his native France if he plays anywhere other than the NBA this season. Speaking to ESPN.com after leading the French national team to an exhibition victory over host Great Britain in a six-nation tournament serving as a test event for the 2012 London Olympics, Parker shot down the idea of playing in China in the event that the ongoing NBA lockout cuts into the 2011-12 schedule. ESPN.com

"My agent talked about China a little bit," Parker said after totaling 23 points, seven rebounds and four assists in France's 82-60 victory. "But for me I just want to focus on the national team, that's most important for me. "I'm not going to take any decision until the end of September, after the European Championships. I want to see if I'm healthy, if I'm hurt and by then we will also know a lot more what is happening with the situation of the lockout. "If I play (abroad), I will definitely play in France, for my fans, for my team, ASVEL." ESPN.com

Parker was referring to a rule that the Chinese Basketball Association is threatening to introduce which would forbid the signing of players who have an NBA get-out clause in their contracts. "There is always a lot of money in China," Parker said. "But for me, right now, I would rather focus on the national team but if an opportunity comes, and if I had to choose, I would like the French option, for my family and friends." ESPN.com

Chris Palmer: Rumor that Kobe will play in Drew vs. Goodman showdown on Saturday. Likely just a ploy to generate buzz for the game. Working. Twitter

Allen offered no insight into Calhoun's future plans, but he said his former coach is in a good position with a talented roster and a solid coaching staff. Allen is especially excited to see Kevin Ollie on the bench, possibly being groomed as the next head coach. "He's always been a leader, just a natural leader," Allen said. "To me, he's always shown me the signs of what hard work looks like and overachieving. He's always put the pressure on me to work harder than what my talent level was capable of giving up. He's always pushed me, and I know he's done that to his guys, those young guys." Hartford Courant

The New Jersey Nets can accept their invitation to Kim Kardashian's wedding. A team official says the Nets have been granted permission to attend the reality star's marriage to forward Kris Humphries on Saturday in California. General manager Billy King and other members of the Nets' basketball operations department are expected to attend the ceremony of their free agent forward, the official told The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the guest list was to remain private. CBSSports.com

College basketball and former NBA referee Troy Raymond committed suicide in a New Orleans hotel room late last week just hours after police found his wife's body in their Houston-area home. Police found his wife, Leslie Anderson Raymond, 41, deceased at their home in Spring, Texas, at 2:08 p.m. on Friday. CBSSports.com

Constable Tim Holifield of Montgomery County Precinct Three told CBSSports.com that the medical examiner ruled the cause of death a homicide caused by asphyxiation due to manual strangulation. Troy Raymond worked one season in the NBA before it was revealed he lied in his media guide bio. "We're not prepared to tell you who's responsible," Holified said. "But certainly Mr. Raymond is a person of interest -- and his death brings about more questions than answers." CBSSports.com

Sources told CBSSports.com that Leslie Anderson Raymond had recently asked for a divorce -- and Raymond had also been informed by one coordinator of officials that he would not be re-hired to work games next season. Fellow referee Bobby Bissant told CBSSports.com he was informed that Raymond's wife had been killed from one of Raymond's childhood friends on Friday afternoon -- and while the two were talking, the police called and told the friend that Raymond had committed suicide. "I still can't believe it," said Bissant, who worked three games this past season with Raymond. "I haven't been able to sleep since I heard the news." CBSSports.com

August 16, 2011 | 05:37 PM ET Update

Stern pointed to Labor Day weekend -- how fitting -- as a key period in the collective bargaining process. The sides haven't met since Aug. 2 in New York and Stern accused the union of cancelling a meeting last week. The union responded that executive director Billy Hunter was told Stern would not be available for the next two weeks. A union official told me the word was that Stern was taking vacation, but an NBA spokesman said Stern was in his office on Monday and even if he did have a vacation scheduled, he could easily return for a collective bargaining session. At this point, the union will host an executive meeting in New York at the end of August. The anticipation is the union and league will sit down again in early September, perhaps before the Labor Day timeline that Stern set. Newsday

The NBA lockout and offseason rages on, so does the offseason work for San Antonio Spurs' Da'Sean Butler. As chronicled here at Project Spurs, Butler has been putting in the extra work in the offseason and from the looks of things, he is proving his knee is fully recovered and belongs on basketball's highest stage. However, with the lockout possibly wiping out all of next season, could Butler be looking to be a pro-boxer? Probably not but check out Butler working the gloves as his training regiment rolls on. ProjectSpurs.com

Memphis coach Lionel Hollins has been named a member of the Grizzlies Foundation's board of directors. Hollins already had been working mentoring young people while with the Grizzlies. Now he is expected to expand youth outreach through the Grizzlies Foundation and the Grizzlies TEAM UP Mentoring initiative. Oklahoman

The NBA’s current lockout has not hindered the Hornets’ push to solicit more support from area businesses and fans. Entergy, the lone Fortune 500 company in the metro area, agreed Monday to become the Hornets’ fourth major Crescent City Champions sponsor, joining Cox Communications, 7-UP and Ochsner Health System. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but each Crescent City sponsorship deal is estimated to be about $1 million, sources said. New Orleans Times-Picayune

The New Jersey Nets can accept their invitation to Kim Kardashian's wedding. A team official says the Nets have been granted permission to attend the reality star's marriage to forward Kris Humphries on Saturday in California. General manager Billy King and other members of the Nets' basketball operations department are expected to attend the ceremony of their free agent forward, the official told The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the guest list was to remain private. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Hi, Al Harrington. From Darren Rovell of CNBC: NBA player Al Harrington will jump through flames & crawl under barbed wire in Spartan Race on Staten Island on 9/24 via Twitter / @darrenrovell: NBA player Al Harrington w .... It's apparently an 8-mile "Super-Spartan" and if Harrington places in the top three for males, he qualifies for the "Death Race." Can you hear that sound? It's George Karl and Masai Ujiri singing with joy out of the possibility for their sixth-man offensive weapon participating in something called a "Death Race." That's not all for Harrington, though. He also just signed a new endorsement deal for Gamma Labs LLC's new "Pre-Training Formula. So, just to review. Al Harrington's running in a flame-and-barbed-wire ridden obstacle course race after signing an endorsement deal with a new supplement. CBSSports.com

Despite those ages-old ball-hog rumours, Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler is a well-noted basketball fan. On top of that, he and his band buddies have also been heralded for their charity work. Seamlessly, the singer is about to link up the two interests via the second annual Rock the Court event next month. Taking place September 10 at the University of Toronto, the charity event, which donates proceeds to Athletes for Africa and local children's charity St. Alban's Boys & Girls Club, has signed on not only the Arcade Fire member, but City and Colour head honcho Dallas Green, as well as NBA stars Matt Bonner (San Antonio Spurs) and Spencer Hawes (Philadelphia 76ers), to participate in a four-on-four tournament. Other draws include former NBA players Paul Shirley and Brent Barry, among others. The event is open to the public, but spots are filling up fast. You can register a team of eight to 12 players for $500, which allows them access to the celebrity draft, "other great prizes" and an after-party. Exclaim!

That's Larry Bird he is abusing. Midcourt at the Garden, and Bird pushes a two-handed pass above Sugar's head; Sugar leaps, steals the ball clean, and then it is just he and Bird, and this is a mismatch to end all mismatches, so Sugar takes him off the dribble and lays it in. You watch those highlights of Richardson as a young man and it's like someone put Magic Johnson on fast-forward: He is quick and strong and fearless in the lane, a point guard from the slums of Denver unleashed on the streets of New York at a precarious moment to be young and rich in America. He blew through half a dozen agents and (according to a 1985 Sports Illustrated profile) bought 16 cars, including a Mercedes with "Sugar" inscribed in gold on the handle of the stick. He partied at Studio 54 and Plato's Retreat. He clashed with coaches (Hubie Brown most of all) and he demanded more money and he disappeared at inopportune times, often without adequate explanation, and amid that erratic behavior he would tantalize you with absurd lines like the 27 points, 15 rebounds, and 19 assists he put up against Cleveland in March of '81. Grantland

"At some point, it went from snorting to freebasing," says Otis Birdsong, who played alongside Micheal Ray in New Jersey. "I remember the first time I saw that I was at a teammate's house, and guys kept walking in and out of the kitchen. And I poked my head in and said, 'That's what they're doing.' It's amazing to me that guys could do that and perform. But I never knew Micheal had those problems until the problems arose. That stuff just got the best of him, as it has a lot of people." Grantland

Two days after Christmas in 1985, Micheal Ray went to a team Christmas party at George's Restaurant in Moonachie, N.J., then left with a girl for a party in Fort Lee. He didn't show up at practice the next day, and landed in rehab once more. Three months later, after attempting to break into the home of his then-estranged wife, he failed a third drug test. On February 25, 1986, four months before Len Bias overdosed on high-grade cocaine in a Maryland dormitory, NBA commissioner David Stern banned Micheal Ray from the league, ostensibly for life. Off he went, to Italy and to Croatia and to France, where he played until the age of 46. Grantland

It took some time for Birdsong to realize that Micheal Ray was serious about this coaching thing. So much about him seemed ill-suited to the profession: He was serially high-strung and he never lifted weights as a player and he was so shaken by losing that his teammates would have to calm him down afterward. Hell, even if his game was grounded in the fundamental understandings of a point guard, Sugar never wanted to let go of that ball himself. "Sugar always wanted to shoot," Birdsong says. And yet for some reason, it seems to work. For three straight seasons before this one (twice in the CBA and once in the PBL), Micheal Ray won league championships in Lawton. There is nothing conventional about Micheal Ray's coaching style; he's been known to get into raging arguments with his own players in the locker room. As long as it happens in private, he doesn't care. But earlier this year when he began screaming on the sideline at one of his players for not sliding over on defense, and that player told him, with a profane flourish, to please get off his case, Micheal Ray told him to pack his bags at halftime and don't come back. Grantland

In June, he went to coach a team in Thailand; in early August, a few weeks after the basketball camp ended, with the Lawton franchise temporarily defunct, he took a job coaching in the newly formed National Basketball League of Canada. As long as he keeps winning, there will be work for him, even if it is his job to occupy the places in-between. "Right now, I'm pretty happy," he says. "I mean, is there some things that I would do different if I could? Yeah. But I can't worry about it now. It's over. It's done." Grantland

Former NBA basketball star Scottie Pippen has won a $2.37 million judgment against a Miami businessman, Craig Frost, and a Miami company, CF Air. Pippen, who has a home in Fort Lauderdale, and his wife, Larsa Pippen, filed suit against Frost in 2007 regarding Pippen’s disastrous ownership of his own airplane through a company called Air Pip. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Air Pip had fallen apart in 2004, and Pippen lost a related $5 million judgment in Missouri to U.S. BankbizWatch . Pippen lost a further appeal of that judgment in 2007. Business News

Police said Tuesday they were seeking to interview Los Angeles Lakers all-star guard Kobe Bryant over allegations he sprained the wrist of a man possibly trying to take his picture at a San Diego church. The man said Bryant, who has won five NBA championship rings with the Lakers, grabbed his wrist and took his phone away, only to give it back when he found no photos of himself or his wife inside, San Diego Police Detective Gary Hassen told Reuters. “Detectives have the case and are hoping to talk with Mr. Bryant,” Hassen said of the incident at Carmel Valley Catholic Church on Sunday. MSNBC.com

August 16, 2011 | 02:20 PM ET Update

Before agreeing to a deal with Justin Harper, Strasbourg had another priority: Antawn Jamison. The Cavs' power forward came close to signing with the team, his agent Makhtar N'Diaye told us. But the two-time All-Star finally decided not to sign, leaving the spot for the the Orlando Magic rookie. Catch and Shoot

It's also an easier decision for him, a free agent, than some of his Knicks teammates, especially Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, the latter of whom, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, has recently been contacted by a different team from the Israel league. Players with big contracts would need to secure insurance, which is extremely difficult and costly. If a player is injured playing overseas during the lockout, his NBA team has the right to void his contract. Newsday

Add forward Justin Harper to the list of Americans who play overseas during the NBA lockout. The Orlando Magic rookie has agreed in principle to a deal with SIG Strasbourg, a team in France's top professional league, said Lance Young, Harper's agent. Young said the only part of the contract yet to be finalized is the exact language of the clause that will allow Harper to return to the U.S. when and if there is a 2011-12 NBA season. "We're hoping he can go out there for a couple of months and improve on a few things at the Pro A level in France and come back for training camp whenever that may be," Young told the Orlando Sentinel. "He'll be able to have some money in his pocket. But the main reason he wanted to do this was not for the money but just for the experience of playing professionally." Orlando Sentinel

Young acknowledged that playing overseas carries a risk of injury, but ultimately Harper determined that there also would have been a risk of injury if he had decided to remain in the U.S. and play pickup games and train on his own. Because of the lockout, officials from NBA teams are not permitted to have contact with their players or with their players' agents. "Obviously, the Orlando Magic will be reading about this," Young said. "I think they will be supportive of this. I haven't been able to reach out to them. "But I think they, like everyone else, will realize this will only help Justin as a player and as a person. We're just crossing our fingers he comes back in October or November [because the lockout ends] and not January or February or staying the whole year." Orlando Sentinel

While in Lexington on Monday to participate in an exhibition game between former Kentucky stars in the NBA and the Dominican Republic, John Wall told the Associated Press that might actually take up Kentucky Coach John Calipari’s offer to return to school and continue his education while working out on campus during the lockout. “I’m trying to see if I can take some classes on campus, and if the lockout ends I can finish online,” said Wall, who is pursuing a degree in business management. “I wanted to be the first person in my family to get a college degree, although I’m probably going to be the second one now. My sister [Cierra] is going to be a sophomore, so she’s ahead of me. Nobody had an opportunity to go to college in my family.” Washington Post

Mark Attanasio would neither confirm nor deny whether he would be interested in buying the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucksfrom U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl. Attanasio, who led an investor group that bought the Milwaukee Brewers from Bud Selig’s ownership group in 2005, was responding to an audience question at a Monday luncheon of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation. Attanasio said he has “enormous” commitments already to the Brewers, to his Los Angeles investment firm and to his family. “I just have to make sure I don‘t get overextended,” Attanasio said. “We’ll see what happens.” Business News

The National Basketball Association will host its first-ever event in Thailand with the NBA 3-on-3 Thailand 2011 presented by Singha Drinking Water, the league announced yesterday. Featuring Hall of Famer Chris Mullin, the NBA 3-on-3 Thailand 2011 will take place in Bangkok at CentralWorld on Sept 10 and 11. The competition, which will provide youth with an opportunity to hone their basketball skills and compete amongst their peers, is open to 11-19-year-old boys and girls and also features a division for adult men. Registration began yesterday at Central Plaza Pin Klao, Central Plaza Bang Na and CentralWorld on a first come first serve basis and runs until Sept 6. Bangkok Post

Mullin, who played for the Golden State Warriors and the Indiana Pacers, was a five-time NBA All-Star (1989-1993) and won two Olympic gold medals in 1984 1992 with the USA team. He will make appearances and interact with fans through clinics and community events. "I'm really looking forward to visiting Thailand and taking part in the NBA's first event in the country," Mullin said in a statement. "I have heard great things about Thailand and can't wait to meet the fans and work with them on developing their basketball skills during my trip." Bangkok Post

While ballers usually love shout-outs from rappers, LeBron James probably would have passed on this latest series of namedrops if he had a choice. On a new track called “Martians vs. Goblins” from Game’s upcoming “The R.E.D. Album,” LeBron gets brought up twice, and not in a good way. Here’s the incredibly NSFW tune. If you didn’t catch it, here’s Tyler, The Creator’s LeBron diss: “Fall back like LeBron’s hairline against the Mavericks / He lost” The Score

San Diego police have confirmed to ESPN that they are investigating an incident involving Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant. According to multiple reports, Bryant was attending a service at a church in Carmel Valley, Calif., on Sunday when he thought someone was taking pictures of him with a cell phone. Bryant allegedly took the phone from the man, but when he didn't see any pictures on it, he left the church. ESPN.com

August 16, 2011 | 10:37 AM ET Update

Free agent forward Wilson Chandler has a $1.7 million offer on the table from a Chinese club, agent Chris Luchey told HoopsHype. The contract would be for a year, but the issue of the out clause remains an obstacle, Luchey says. Chandler, who finished last season with the Denver Nuggets, is also considering a deal in Italy, according to his agent. HoopsHype

Whenever the NBA gets going again, Nene will be a free agent, after opting out of the final year of his Nuggets contract ($11.6 million). He reiterated that it's possible he could return to the Nuggets but suggested that one of the reasons he wants to play elsewhere is for a more immediate chance at a championship. "After nine years, I have goals and I'm a team player," said Nene, who has averaged 12.3 points and 7.0 rebounds in his career. "I'm very competitive. I want to accomplish everything. It's a big opportunity, and it's the only one in my life to be a top free agent. So I want to enjoy this moment. If people think it's about money, they're wrong. I've saved my money. I could retire today. I don't need to prove points. I like it a lot here." Denver Post

What are your thoughts on the lockout? Are we going to have a season? Ronnie Brewer: My teammates and I are very optimistic. Hopefully talks will speed up and get resovled like they did in the NFL. No one wants to miss an entire season. It's our livelihood and we just want to play. When they don't let us play, that's when guys go overseas. complex.com

"Right now", a source close to Rudy (Fernandez) says, "he has all the doors opened. With Real Madrid, for example, they have been talking for three months and... it's moving forward. The plan is for an European club club to get his rights in Europe because we are not ready to take away his dream of playing in the NBA. There are meetings but no deadlines. There's a lot of speculation, because it would be a very complicated contract, the first in Spanish history with an NBA lockout situation. What, four years and three million euros ($4.3 million) per year? That's not accurate." El Pais

Kevin Seraphin, in an interview released at L'Equipe, admitted he turned down two proposals, one from ASVEL and the other one from SIG Strasbourg. "It is true I turned down a proposal from ASVEL and Strasbourg. We did not reach an agreement. I have two proposals from Spain but I wouid like to play in France. I am talking with Cholet. I would love to play Euroleague Qualification Rounds" said Seraphin who spent his first season in the NBA with Washington Wizards averaging 2.7ppg and 2.8rpg in 58 games. Sportando

Jeff McDonald: Hearing Danny Green probably does have out clause in Slovenia, which would jibe with his tweet from earlier. Twitter

Curtis Stinson has been one of the most most statistically impressive players in the NBA D-League the past few seasons. Unfortunately for fans of the Development League, however, the point guard doesn't look like he'll be suiting up again for the Iowa Energy next season. Stinson has signed with KRKA Novo Mesto in Slovenia, according to a release on the team's website, and will team up alongside 2010 NBA Draft pick Jerome Jordan this season. It's probably fitting that the club's current roster has listed the former D-League MVP's position as "defender." Ridiculous Upside

Former NBA center Lance Allred has agreed to contractual terms to play for the Kyoto Hannaryz this season, the bj-league team announced on Monday. The Japan Times first reported on Aug. 5 that Allred would suit up for Kyoto, under new coach Honoo Hamaguchi, this season. Japan Times

But Allen doesn’t believe a lost season would end the Big Three era, even if he and Kevin Garnett have only one year left on their respective contracts. “I don’t think so,” Allen said yesterday before teeing off in his charity golf tournament at the TPC River Highlands. “They’re not going to send us away because possibly we miss a season. We’re not going to say we’re done and we’re not going to play any more. I still have a lot left in me and I’m sure that Kevin feels the same. At this stage of the game, I’m sure he’s rejuvenated and he’ll be ready to go.” “When you stop so abruptly — it wouldn’t be anything I would accept. As far as being ready to play another season, I would just be ready. Especially if you get a whole year off. It’s not as if you go into the next year and say I’m done. I’m not going to play anymore. We’re competitors. When you lose a season like that, you come back and you’re ready to get after it. It will fuel our fire, and enable us to go after it a little more next year.” Boston Herald

They play soccer on Thursdays, Denver's melting pot of footballers from Brazil, Argentina, Peru. It's a hodgepodge of muscular men, lithe ladies and one 6-foot-11 dude who somehow seems to fit in like he is 5-foot-11 — except when there's a header battle. Then, yeah, he's definitely 6-11. "I'm like a normal person," Nene said. "Everyone is the same. I'm not special." For the big Brazilian, soccer is his national pastime. And the longtime Nuggets center has been playing pickup matches in Denver parks this summer, a man-child playing his favorite childhood game. "I feel more close to Brazil (when I play)," said Nene, a native of São Carlos, Brazil, who joined the Nuggets in 2002. "I miss it so much, and my friends live there. But I can come here and play soccer and enjoy it. It's a sport I love. I grew up playing soccer. And I just get to have some fun." Denver Post

Leave it to Memphis Grizzlies center Hamed Haddadi to at give us some finely-tuned choreography to help us through the NBA's current lockout. The Iran native helped lead his team to a third-straight Williams Jones Cup title on Monday, and his teammates decided to celebrate in a way that was more fitting of Sheboygan, Wisconsin than Iran's finest alleys. And we dig it. From Haddadi's Twitter account, here's the celebration. Yahoo! Sports

Joe Schmit: I'm hearing the #Timberwolves will make one more run at Rick Adelman. He has a family situation that is keeping him from wanting job. Twitter

For two years Mullin was Walsh's choice to succeed him with the Knicks, but Garden chairman James Dolan refused to sign off on hiring Mullin as a GM. In June, Walsh stepped down as Knicks president but Mullin, who played for Walsh with the Indiana Pacers, doesn't think his old boss is ready for retirement. "He's as good as anyone," Mullin said Monday following a taping of "CenterStage" on YES. "I think it's just a matter of if he wants to do it. And what I know of Donnie, he's a worker. "He likes to work. That's part of his makeup. I haven't talked to him about it but if you asked me I would think (Walsh will work again)." New York Daily News

When asked Monday if the Knicks will miss Walsh, Mullin replied: "No question. You got that right." Mullin also addressed questions about Walsh's health. Walsh had three surgeries in three years with the Knicks, including a hip replacement last November. Walsh was upset over whispers that he was in declining health. "He's getting healthy," Mullin said. "He was never as bad as people let on." Mullin reiterated that his hope was to work with Walsh. "With Donnie Walsh, that's the guy I consider the right person for use," he said. "It really never got that far along. But knowing him like I do and the respect I have for him and his success at that level ... he's been a great executive." New York Daily News

His appreciation for the assembled talent left Tex holding the highest regard for the owners who stretched far beyond the mean, Jerry Reinsdorf in Chicago and Jerry Buss in Los Angeles, to acquire tremendous talent for Jackson’s coaching staff to work with. Likewise, he was quite mindful that those same owners shelled out substantial dollars to make him the highest paid assistant in the NBA, an extraordinary commitment in itself. “They’ve paid me a fabulous salary,” Tex told me more than once. HoopsHype

During the playoffs, Pippen indicated to me that he would have no problem visiting with Krause, that the hard feelings no longer seemed that important. Whether Jordan, known for harboring hard feelings for years that feed his competitiveness, will be able to make the same concessions remains to be seen. HoopsHype

What's the most money you've ever spent on an item of clothing? Ronnie Brewer: My rookie year in Utah, Coach Sloan had a rule about no jeans or tennis shoes. So I had to buy a lot of khakis, ties, blazers, and suits. So I've bought suits ranging from $1,500 to $4,000. complex.com

Shaquille O'Neal is giving the movie biz another shot -- yes, even after "Kazaam" and "Steel" -- and this time he wants to be a director! Shaq is about to complete the Filmmaking Conservatory at the New York Film Academy's branch at Universal Studios Hollywood. Shaq's been very hands-on during directing and cinematography classes -- walking his crew through stunts (above photo) ... and shooting on the studio's famous back lot (see the video below). According to the school, Shaq has been "incredibly humble, funny, and likable" ... or just the usual Shaq. TMZ.com

When standing over a pinball machine, Todd MacCulloch, who is 7 feet tall, cuts a striking figure. As he approached the 10 machines in the B division bank Wednesday afternoon, several of his fellow competitors did double-takes. Mr. MacCulloch, 35, retired from the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association eight years ago for medical reasons and resettled in Bainbridge Island, Wash. He's now a full-time father to his two children and a part-time competitor on the professional pinball circuit. "I always loved pinball growing up," he said as he sat near the front entrance, collecting nods and greetings from competitors he has encountered on the circuit before. "Now that I can't compete [in the NBA], pinball has filled that void of camaraderie." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Shaquille O'Neal wants the court to toss out a lawsuit accusing him of masterminding kidnap and murder plots because the accuser -- Robert Ross -- filed his lawsuit too late. Shaq's attorneys filed a motion to dismiss today in Federal Court. TMZ obtained the documents in which Shaq denies the allegations made by Ross -- a former gang member -- and says, "if this case ever proceeded ... Plaintiff would be further exposed for the perjurer that he is." The motion also claims the longest statute of limitations -- 3 years -- had long expired by the time Ross filed his lawsuit last month. TMZ.com

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