HoopsHype rumors

September 19, 2011 | 08:03 PM ET Update

Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea, a first-time free agent whenever the NBA lockout is lifted, strongly believes he will be back to defend the franchise's first championship. "If you want to go by percentages, I think 75 percent I'll be back in Dallas and 25 percent something else happens," Barea said, now back home in Puerto Rico after a bid to qualify for the 2012 Olympics fell painfully short with a semifinals loss to host country Argentina at the FIBA Americas Tournament. "... My first option is going to be Dallas." ESPN.com

Barea said he has not had direct talks regarding a possible contract with any team, but that he will have options in Spain if he chooses to play. "I'm going to be patient and I hope that the NBA gets back on track," Barea said. "I need a little bit of rest. I feel a little bit mentally and physically tired from the tournament. I will have the option (of playing in Spain), but I don't know if that's something I want to do yet." ESPN.com

Sergio Scariolo, in an interview released at SkySport24, the day after his second consecutive Eurobasket title with Spanish National Team, opened the doors to the return of Danilo Gallinari to Olimpia Milano during the NBA lockout. "We don't want in the roster part-time players but for Danilo Gallinari we could make an exception. Olimpia is his home" said Scariolo who will meet Milano's roster on Thursday (now the roster is coached by his future assistant Fabrizio Frates). Sportando

After much waiting and anticipation, there will finally be a rematch between the Los Angeles based Drew League and the Goodman League of Washington D.C. The game will take place on Oct. 9 in Los Angeles at Cal State Dominguez. The time is tentatively set for 5:30 p.m. PT. Longtime Drew League commissioner Drew Smiley confirmed the news and date to ESPNLosAngeles.com. The first meeting on Aug. 21 in D.C. saw the Goodman League squad, fueled by 44 points and a pair of clutch free throws from Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, eke out a 135-134 victory. Since then, fans and participants alike have been clamoring to see these squads meet up again. After a series of scheduling conflicts, a mutually agreeable time was finally discovered. ESPN.com

In the end, Bill Bayno’s departure from the Trail Blazers’ coaching staff came down to one thing: Security. The Minnesota Timberwolves and new coach Rick Adelman offered the former Blazers assistant coach a four-year contract — three more years than the Blazers would offer — and a difficult decision became a no-brainer for Bayno. “We talk all the time about this being a business when players get traded or coaches get fired and its no different in this situation,” Bayno said in an e-mail to The Oregonian. “My first choice was to stay and I did everything in my power to do that. But in the end, I had to take this offer. It was too good to pass up.” Oregonian

Joe Freeman: Helping fill Bayno's player development role is Buck Williams. He'll join staff full-time this year after serving part-time role a year ago. Twitter

September 19, 2011 | 02:44 PM ET Update

Whatever noble comes out of the cause, public activism in the union is a losing proposition on the endorsement field, a visual that doesn’t push product. Never mind that the owners locked out the players, never mind that James and Bryant are the two most underpaid athletes since Michael Jordan for the revenue they generate. It doesn’t matter. They know that truth, and so do the owners, the union, everyone. There should be max contracts, and an additional team revenue sharing pot that James, Bryant and a handful of superstars get paid. That would be fair, honest, and yet those salaries will get cut, too. Most of the league’s players are overpaid, interchangeable parts. They don’t sell tickets, don’t drive ratings. Yet, this is a one-man, one-vote union. Players Association executive board member Roger Mason (notes) is one of the most visible, quoted players of the summer, and yet you have to wonder: Does he even a job in the NBA next season? Yahoo! Sports

Toronto Raptors president Bryan Colangelo has completed interviews with four candidates for a high-ranking executive job, leagues sources told Yahoo! Sports. Philadelphia 76ers general manager Ed Stefanski, San Antonio Spurs assistant GM Dennis Lindsey, Indiana Pacers pro personnel director Kevin Prichard and former New Orleans Hornets GM Jeff Bower traveled to Toronto in recent weeks to meet with Colangelo, sources said. Yahoo! Sports

Among the four executives, Lindsey is also the candidate most likely to turn down an offer. He has a top executive’s job under Spurs GM R.C. Buford in one of the NBA’s preeminent and respected front offices. He’d have to be willing to leave that for Toronto, where Colangelo and coach Dwane Casey are on two-year contracts with an ownership mandate to get things turned around sooner than later. Yahoo! Sports

September 19, 2011 | 01:29 PM ET Update

Another Wizard has decided to play overseas this fall, with the unstable NBA labor situation forcing players to seek other options for employment. Big man Kevin Seraphin announced on Monday that he will play for Spanish Euroleague team, Caja Laboral Vitoria. Seraphin’s agent, Bouna Ndiaye, confirmed the decision. Washington Post

At Joe Abunassar's Impact League in Vegas last week, one of the more intriguing people there was Jamaal Tinsley -- about 20 pounds less of him -- diming people up like he used to in Indiana. The only person not at all surprised by this was Tinsley. "People just need to see me," the 31-year-old said after a run at Impact last Wednesday afternoon. "This place, everybody comes, and I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to come out and play. When I'm healthy, I don't care who you put in front of me. I'm gonna hold mine." And Tinsley insists he finally is healthy, after missing huge chunks of four of his last five seasons in Indiana, including the last 16 months. That last year-plus was at the team's request, having told him to stay away from team facilities and practices while it tried to trade him. NBA.com

And Tinsley, who has offers from teams abroad, says he doesn't really care if he's in the NBA again. "I'm not even worrying about the NBA," he said. "If I get a job, I get a job. I want to play basketball. I do it for free now. I'm not going to stop playing just because I'm not a professional no more. I like to play the game. I go out there and play with my son. I'm teaching him stuff now, stuff I didn't do when I was little. Who don't want to play (in the NBA)? But I can't control that. For me, sitting around, pouting, blaming somebody, I can't do that." NBA.com

The Halifax Rainmen have added two former NBAers for the upcoming season. Eddie Robinson, a guard-forward who played five seasons in the NBA with the Charlotte Hornets and Chicago Bulls, and shooting guard Rodney Buford, who suited up for a handful of different teams in a five-year NBA career, were announced as signings by the team at a press conference Monday morning at the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame. Robinson and Buford both told a large media contingent they are looking forward to spending the season in Halifax and helping the team win a championship in the new National Basketball League of Canada. “I just love playing,” Robinson said. “This game will take you anywhere – it will take you all over the world to play in .. once I got the call, I said yes immediately.” metronews.ca

But two sources who have been briefed on the talks indicated the following: sometime during the last of the small sessions between the two sides in New York, on Sept. 7 and 8, the union made its 53 percent concept to the owners. After the proposal was made, according to the sources, the union believed it had assurances from the other side that the offer would be viewed favorably by the owners' Labor Relations Committee. That was the basis of player optimism -- including union executive committee member Roger Mason's infamous "looks like a season" tweet a few days later. And that's why the union was so crestfallen on Sept. 13, when the meeting with each side's full negotiating committees failed to produce a breakthrough. NBA.com

The first real deadline is the one that cancels opening night Nov. 1, including the nationally televised doubleheader: Chicago vs. Dallas and Oklahoma City at the Los Angeles Lakers. With the four weeks it takes teams to get ready, that makes the true deadline Oct. 1-5. Every week they haggle after, assuming it results in lost games, will cost the involved parties $167 million, based upon revenue projections of $4 billion. Then, and not until then, we’ll start to see who’s really serious about what. SheridanHoops

Their opening offer — we’ll take the players’ 57 percent of revenue — was so nonsensical, NBA people complained they couldn’t get the union to take it seriously. Insiders say Stern rally wants 50-50, which would mean a 12 percent cut for the players. Oh, and a hard cap. Unfortunately, to the players, “hard cap” means “fight to the death,” or however long they can hold out. SheridanHoops

But several agents outside of that group who spoke with SI.com in the days that followed expressed frustration that the players' unity seemed to come at their expense. Specifically, numerous agents took great exception to Fisher's questioning of their motives in the letter and his claim that they are non-communicative with the union and unwilling to be part of the solution. SI.com

Mark Bartelstein on the notion that agents are scheming to "blow up" the union: "There's an inaccurate perception out there that there's this group of agents -- including myself -- that have decided to quote-unquote blow up the union, or destroy the union, and nothing could be further from the truth. That's not true at all. I know that I, personally, and other people have engaged and try to engage with Billy and [NBPA lead attorney] Ron Klempner and everyone at the players' association throughout this process. "I've been the first one to say that Billy is in a very, very difficult position. He's in a very tough position, because the NBA has taken an extremely hard-line stance from Day 1. The initial proposal [from the owners] ... was Draconian to say the least, and Billy is in this position where he's trying in good faith to get a deal done, but you can't negotiate by yourself. SI.com

On whether working together with the union is still possible, or if there are now separate tracks: "My goal has never been to have two separate tracks. My goal from Day 1 was to be unison with the union. We're all in this together. We all have the same goal, which is coming up with what's best for the players and what's best for the game. I reach out to Billy all the time. I haven't talked to him in two days. I want to strategize with Billy. I've been doing this for 25 years. I feel like I have a really good feel for the business, and I want to work with him to come to a resolution. I'm hoping to talk to Billy [on Monday] maybe." SI.com

Matt Bonner on what issues are holding up a deal getting done: “There’s two huge issues here. The system which means hard cap or soft cap. For the average fan that doesn’t know the difference if you move to a hard cap system it virtually eliminates guaranteed contracts and that kind of security is obviously important to a professional athlete who puts his body on the line every night. Aside from the system, the percentage of BRI which is basketball related income or revenue. If they want us to move off that percentage significantly which we understand the times and the economy and everything, we understand that both sides need to make sacrifices. We just want a fair deal. We’re willing to move off the economics a little bit thinking we can maintain our system and they’re just trying to stick it to us on both sides. If that’s the case we’re never going to reach a deal.” Sports Radio Interviews

Have you done real damage to your friendship, to your relationship with Dwyane Wade? Is there real damage done there by your criticism? Charles Barkley: Dwyane has become like the Miami group, a little whiny. You know, Dwyane's a great guy. LeBron's a great guy. They're both great players. I've never criticized them as a basketball team. I did criticize them for that decision when they came around on stage, dancing like idiots, talking about how they were going to win five or six championships. And he's a little sensitive about that, but I know I'm 100 percent right to criticize that stuff. ESPN.com

First piece of advice you'd give LeBron James right now. Charles Barkley: Stop taking himself so seriously. He's a great, great player. He's a really good dude. I would ask him to go and talk to Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan ... those guys who are really great like him. Every person who's a star or who's famous or rich or whatever, should always go talk to an older person who has been in that situation. ESPN.com

But Tinsley still thinks he was made the scapegoat in Indiana. "I'm normal," he said. "Everybody goes out, to the strip clubs, whatever. I'm a good person. Everything that happened in Indiana, I ain't have nothing to do with it. Just being there. I ain't start nothing, none of my friends started nothing. I took a polygraph. For everybody. But at the end of the day, they had to point at somebody. I wouldn't take nothing back. When it's this and that, one name, when it's other people. Know what I'm saying? And the eight other people, they come from different backgrounds, so you don't throw their name out there? I come from a totally different background, so you throw my name out there? Sometimes, I wouldn't even be there; I'd just be coming to it. But the only person whose name they knew was Jamaal. That's the nature of the beast." NBA.com

"That could happen anywhere," he said. "We're athletes. We have a lot of cars, jewelry. It could happen anywhere. Bigger cities, it's known to happen more, but you just don't hear about it because it's a bigger city. It's Indiana, so you're gonna hear about it. They're going to make a big thing out of it, you know? At the end of the day, that could happen to anybody stepping out that club. Whoever's coming out of that club, that's who he was targeting. Whoever's car it was." (However, Tinsley says he does take security with him now whenever he goes out.) NBA.com

The Timberwolves said Monday morning that new head coach Rick Adelman will be officially introduced at a press conference inthe Twin Cities at 1 p.m. September 28. The news came from the Timberwolves' Twitter feed @Twolves_PR. The Wolves confirmed last Tuesday that Adelman had been named head coach, succeeding Kurt Rambis. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

On Thursday, Mikhail D. Prokhorov described Russia’s party system as an elaborate sham orchestrated by a “puppet master” within the Kremlin walls. By the time he finished, Mr. Prokhorov seemed to have gambled with the most valuable asset a Russian businessman can have — good relations with the Kremlin and its most important occupant, Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin. New York Times

Mr. Prokhorov’s comments were prompted by the public meltdown of Right Cause, a pro-business party that was restarted this spring in hopes of winning the loyalty of disgruntled elites. The party had all the hallmarks of “pocket opposition” — Kremlin-sponsored projects that cast themselves as antigovernment but steer clear of challenging Russia’s leaders. New York Times

The reward for information leading to an arrest in the murder of former NBA and Memphis Tiger star Lorenzen Wright has been raised. At a Monday morning press conference, MPD Director Toney Armstrong, along with Memphis Mayor A C Wharton and District Attorney General Amy Weirich, announced that the total reward has been raised to $11,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case. Also, The Tennessee Governor's office added that if another party offers a reward, the state will match up to $5,000. My FOX Memphis

September 19, 2011 | 08:13 AM ET Update

Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki says he's decided that the ongoing NBA lockout would have to bleed into November before he considers signing with a team in a foreign league. After an exhausting summer stint with the German national team at the European Championships that eliminated his country from 2012 Olympic contention earlier than expected, Nowitzki told ESPN.com that he won't resume basketball workouts until late October at the earliest unless the lockout is lifted sooner. "I'm going to get away for a little bit and get some well-deserved rest that I didn't get before," Nowitzki said, referring to the whirlwind existence during and immediately after the Mavericks' long playoff run to their first-ever championship. "That's my plan." ESPN.com

Nowitzki has said for months that he will find somewhere else to play in 2011-12 if the lockout extends into the winter and jeopardizes the NBA season, because, in Nowitzki's words, he's "too old to sit around for a whole year." Big-spending Bayern Munich and other top German clubs have been trying for months to convince Nowitzki to sign a deal with an out clause to return to the United States as soon as the lockout ends, but the 33-year-old has likewise indicated that he's unlikely to join a German club because he doesn't want to slight any club in the country. "Let's see where the lockout is in a few weeks and then we'll have something to talk about," Nowitzki said of finding temporary employment abroads. ESPN.com

Claudio Sabatini, owner of Virtus Bologna, talked again to Il Resto del Carlino, on Kobe Bryant and Manu Ginobili. "I can risk by my own the 50% of the total amount of money needed. For the other half, I need the help of private companies, professional associations and the municipality. We have three opportunities: the arrival of Kobe Bryant, the return of Manu Ginobili and the organization of FIBA World Championship Under 19 in 2013. If I don't have the help to cover the other 50% of the cost I am not going forward to negotiate with Kobe Bryant" said Sabatini. Sportando

There’s been much ado made about the fact that Steve Nash recommended a vitriolic anti-Sarver Twitter rant by ESPN’s Bill Simmons that included this tweet after an ESPN report cited Sarver and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert as having “expressed their dissatisfaction” that “owners were seriously considering coming off of their demand for a salary freeze and would allow players’ future earnings to be tied into the league’s revenue growth.” When later asked on Twitter if we can suppose his days of a Sun are over in light of that recommendation, Nash tweeted, “Nah. I’m a SUN but NBAPA 1st.” Valley of the Suns

Chris Kaman: No, did not sign anything! Might tho? RT @EricPincus: @ChrisKaman so you sign a deal to go overseas and don't let me know personally? Twitter

Fabi Shoes Montegranaro announced the signing of Ben Uzoh for the upcoming season without NBA out. The player replaces the injured Edgar Sosa who will miss at least six months of action. Sportando

Several European teams have tossed offers (Corey) Stokes’s way, and his play in Vegas over the course of the last week has made it pretty clear why. Still, Stokes went undrafted this past June, due largely to the fact that he missed a considerable amount of his senior season with a nagging turf toe injury. He had a promising year as a junior, averaging over 14 ppg, but his ailments allowed other players to leapfrog him in the eyes of NBA scouts—scouts who now must feel a little bit silly for passing him up. “I think I’m ready. I was born for this,” Stokes said. “All the guys are giving me confidence, telling me to shoot the ball. I’m playing great defense, and each and every play they’re just giving me pointers on what to do better. I’m listening, and just loving their company.” HoopsWorld

The trick thus far has been proving that he’s got more game than some may realize. In college he mostly was known for knocking down open looks from deep, but he’s a much more versatile player than that. “At Villanova, I was a spot-up shooter, and Corey Fisher, Maalik Wayns, and Scottie Reynolds were the ball handlers. I have more to my game than just shooting, though. I can drive to the basket, pass, play defense. I’m just showing what I can do here.” And what he can do is pretty good. Whichever team ends up with him will get a great young professional, and Stokes, for his part, just seems eager to get on a court somewhere and play ball. That’s the kind of young man you want playing for you, and that’s why he was invited to participate in such an elite league of ballers despite not having an NBA affiliation. HoopsWorld

Player unity, then, is a crucial element of avoiding a salary free fall. After the session with players — who have already agreed to trim their share of basketball-related income from 57% to 53% — Hunter declared, "We dispelled the notion that the players aren't together." How do you know that? Billy Hunter: "By the fact that they're standing here behind me now and what was said in that room. We know the owners are dug in . . . they've seen what has happened in hockey; that you can break the will of the players. We spent three years preparing these guys for this. I'm convinced they'll hang in there, that they'll stay the course for the year if that's what it takes." Los Angeles Times

Jacques Stas revealed Monday on Frank Peterkenne's radio show that he was very close to signing Shaquille O’Neal. In their search of a big man for the Euroleague, the name of the legendary NBA center came up. This could have been possible because Shaq is the cousin of Demond Mallet, the PG of Charleroi. RTBF

While unsubstantiated reports of a rift between Westbrook and Perkins lingered as the headline on the popular rumor-based website Hoopshype.com on Saturday, the Thunder's voluntary minicamp failed to receive a single mention. But quietly, taking place in Austin, according to Mohammed, were ‘The best pickup games in America.' The Thunder crew even got a cameo by San Antonio's Tim Duncan, a four-time champion, three-time Finals MVP, two-time league MVP and 13-time All-Star. Former All- Star and champion Michael Finley also made an appearance. Oklahoman

Former Rockets guard and longtime NBA coach John Lucas III is organizing a series of games in October and November featuring NBA stars in conjunction with his John Lucas Basketball Resources training camps should the NBA work stoppage continue into the scheduled start of the season. Though many arrangements have not been finalized, Lucas said he has already received commitments for some games from NBA players including stars Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin. Rockets players Terrence Williams and Jonny Flynn and Houston-based players DeAndre Jordan, John Lucas II, T.J. Ford and Damon Jones have also committed to the participate along with Baron Davis, Thaddeus Young, Derrick Williams, Tristan Thompson and Corey Joseph. Houston Chronicle

One NBA scout who attended this game but could not be quoted because of the league’s lockout-related gag order said this Spanish team is much better, much more mature, and — this is the biggest thing — much more athletic because of the addition of Ibaka than they were in 2008. Factor in how much of a big-game player Navarro showed himself to be, and it adds up to a team that is a more than a notch above where the Spaniards were three years ago when they arrived in Beijing (and remember, that was a Spanish team that had choked the gold medal game of EuroBasket a year before, losing on their home court in Madrid to Russia). SheridanHoops

Spencer Hawes: Watching the euro basket championship they let them get away with more contact than I thought in intl ball. Navarro is killen batum fouling Twitter

Nowitzki also said that he intends to take no less than a two-year break from playing for his country after Germany's failure to secure the top-six finish required to remain eligible for Olympic qualification. But he left open the possibility of rejoining the squad in the summer of 2015, at the age of 37, to try to help the Germans qualify for the 2016 Olympics. "I'm not going to retire (from the national team) and I'm not going to say that I will definitely play (for Germany) again," Nowitzki said Sunday night after watching Spain beat France in the EuroBasket final on TV at his Wurzburg home. "I'm going to take a couple years off, then we'll see." ESPN.com

Nurse will be named the new head coach the Rio Grande Valley Vipers at a press conference on Monday, according to multiple sources close to the situation, succeeding Chris Finch in the role with the D-League team ran by the Houston Rockets. The transition should be fairly seamless, too, as the reigning D-League Coach of the Year serves as an assistant under Finch with the Great Britain National Team. Ridiculous Upside

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