HoopsHype rumors

February 19, 2012 | 06:20 PM ET Update

Gasol is aware of how the perception of his game has changed, and acknowledges working through the criticism has been a process. "Sometimes it bothers you more than others because you might be a little more sensitive at times. But you try not to allow it to bother you," he said. "You’re going to have people who like you, like your game, like your style, like what you do. You’re going to have people that don’t. For very different reasons." ESPN.com

I've never felt Gasol understood why the reservoir of faith and trust locally hasn't run deeper, or why with all the success he's had in Los Angeles there isn't more benefit tucked in with the doubt. I don't blame him, either, because it should be. But Gasol isn't without perspective. "Fair or not fair, a lot of things in life are not," he told me after Tuesday's game. Walking out of Staples Center en route to his car, Pau gestured quietly with his eyes and head at our surroundings. "I’m not complaining that this might not be fair to me at times," he said. "This" being the life of privilege basketball affords him. "So I deal with it, and I try not to let it bother me because I feel like it’s part of my position, too, and everything around me," he said. ESPN.com

Until something, or nothing, happens, Gasol continues efforts to keep his enjoyment of the game a high priority, not exactly an easy task. "There has been so much going on from talks, from rumors, situations that have changed. That makes it more challenging than usual, the amount of games that we’ve played now this season. That makes it a little more complicated. I want to have as much fun as possible doing well and doing my part," he said, "but it’s been difficult at times." Most times, I'd say, which is why that smile Tuesday stuck out. To me, and to him. "It was good," Gasol said. "I enjoyed it." ESPN.com

The first thing we all should remember is LeBron James is a master manipulator. James had to know the questions were coming on Thursday when the Miami Heat were practicing at Quicken Loans Arena. He recently hired a new "strategist," a man who worked on Arnold Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial campaign, so for all we know, his answers could all have been planned. News-Herald

He had every chance in the world to discourage talk about returning to the Cavaliers. Instead, he encouraged it and embraced it. James can opt out of his contract in the summer of 2014. If James wants to return to the Cavs, they must find a way to make that to happen. News-Herald

Puerto Rican team Brujos de Guayama signed for the season former NBA player Al Thornton. The free agent forward has played last season with Washington and Golden State Warriors scoring 7.4ppg and 3rpg in 71 games. Sportando

Dallas Mavericks guard is not overly impressed with what New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin has been able to accomplish. Especially those NBA record 45 turnovers Lin has produced, which are the most by a player in the NBA since the league started keeping turnovers in the 1977-'78 season. "I've been a point guard in this league and (45 turnovers in seven games) would have gotten me on the bench real fast,'' Terry said. Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"First of all man, I wanted to call in to ESPN and say something when I saw them saying [Anthony would mess it up]," Martin told SI.com. "Melo wants to win. The man is a competitor, and he wants to win. He's as competitive as they come. "Smart basketball player, and the best player on that team -- hands down. So I don't understand why people are questioning whether he's selfish or not. No, the man is not selfish. The man wants to win. He'll do whatever it takes to win. I don't think he'll mess nothing up. He's going to come in and be Carmelo Anthony." SI.com

Ginobili said he was encouraged Sunday morning that inflammatory medications he received on Saturday already had lessened the pain from the rib injurfy. “I don’t think it is as bad as I feared it was,” said the veteran guard, who already has missed 22 games this season because of a fractured fifth metacarpal on his left hand. “Last night it was very bad, but the inflammatories (medicagtions) already are working. “We’ll know more tomorrow, but I am hopeful.” San Antonio Express-News

"If the organization was ran right, he wouldn't want to leave, so it ain't Melo. With Melo, not one time when he was there [in the Nuggets' locker room] did he bring that in the locker room when all that stuff was going on. Not one day. Everybody made it a bigger deal than it had to be. That's a good kid. "They act like this kid was a cancer, like he came in there and destroyed the locker room and made everybody hate him. No, it wasn't nothing like that man. And it bothers me for people to be talking about how he's a selfish player and he has to defend himself." SI.com

According to source, Mike D'Antoni threw out his back on Monday before the club flew to Toronto and has been in obvious pain sitting through press conferences. But his backache could turn into a headache as he figures out a new rotation that could have J.R. Smith and Baron Davis in it, pehaps by tomorrow vs. Nets if not today vs. Dallas. D'Antoni even suggested Davis could eventually start. New York Post's backpage today was perfect on Lin-Baron situation: "WaffLin''. Sulia

Billy Hunter, the Executive Director of the NBA Players Association, sees big things down the road for New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin. Hunter told Bloomberg News that he could see Lin, a Harvard alum, becoming the player’s representative for the Knicks and could even earn a spot on the union’s executive committee.Hunter says the Knicks overnight sensation has expressed interest in becoming more involved with the Players Association. HoopsWorld

Anchor Max Bretos was suspended for 30 days for an incident Wednesday when he asked Knicks legend Walt “Clyde” Frazier on air about Lin. “If there is a chink in the armor, where can he improve his game?” Bretos asked. The question’s wording went almost entirely unnoticed at the time. In video of the moment, Bretos did not appear to be attempting to make a pun. He tweeted his apologies Saturday, saying he meant no racial reference but would try hard to avoid making the mistake again. “My wife is Asian, would never intentionally say anything to disrespect her and that community,” Bretos said. “Despite intention, phrase was inappropriate in this context.” New York Daily News

February 19, 2012 | 08:37 AM ET Update

Nets coach Avery Johnson has not tried lately to hide his desire for an upgrade at small forward. He already has started five different players at the position this season, and the search could lead to Renaldo Balkman, waived when the Knicks signed J.R. Smith. New York Post

League sources confirmed the Nets have some interest and are researching Balkman and the possibility of adding the 6-foot-8, sixth-season veteran out of South Carolinaout of South Carolina. The Nets’ need has been glaring. Consider the Nets ended their 97-85 upset of the Bulls yesterday having been outscored on the season at the starting small forward position, 500-188, or 15.6-5.9 per game. And that included a whopping 57-0 in two games before yesterday when DeShawn Stevenson was scoreless against the Grizzlies’ Rudy Gay (25 points) and the Pacers’ Danny Granger (32 points). New York Post

Lin could finish in the top five in assists, lead the Knicks deep into the playoffs and win the Most Improved Player Award, but he can't get more than roughly $5 million next season from the Knicks or any team. Newsday

Since he got a two-year contract as a rookie from Golden State last year, Lin will be a restricted free agent in July and the most any team can give him is the average salary, or roughly $5 million. The Knicks can match that by using their midlevel exception. It's known as the "Gilbert Arenas rule." It limits teams that have cap room to outright sign a restricted free agent, who has been in the league for less than three years. It stems from Washington signing Arenas, a second-round pick in 2001, to an $8.5-million offer sheet in 2003 that Golden State couldn't match. Newsday

After using rookie forward as the backup to Zaza Pachulia for a week, the Hawks signed veteran Erick Dampier to a 10-day contract Feb. 9. He had played a total of 26 minutes in four games entering Saturday. After Dampier’s contract expires, the rules allow the Hawks to sign him for the rest of the season or sign him to another 10-day contract. Coach Larry Drew said he would meet with general manager Rick Sund after the Blazers game to make a decision. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Next season Elton Brand is owed $18.1 million in salary and could be a candidate for amnesty, though only if the player the Sixers can get is a “game changer.” “For the right person, yes,” Harris said. “Those are the kinds of things that if you do it and you do it wrong it puts you way back. You’ve got to be very careful but if it was a game changer we would consider that. It’s not something we’re afraid of. We’re a deep-pocketed, committed ownership group. But we’re going to be sensible about it. We’re not going to do that for anyone. It would have to be for someone really good.” CSNPhilly.com

Sources indicated the Bucks could be interested in a pair of big men, former Utah center Kyrylo Fesenko and 7-foot center D.J. Mbenga. Both players are out of the league this season. The 7-1, 280-pound Fesenko played in 53 games with the Jazz last season and averaged 2.0 points and 2.0 rebounds. Mbenga played in 49 games for the Lakers during the 2009-'10 season and 41 games for the Hornets last season. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

If others with more to lose were prepared to take a chance on him, why should we worry about the 15-16 Knicks ruining chemistry they haven’t developed a sure formula for yet minus Melo? It might be because Smith has proven to be the worst kind of head case ... one on a winning team, with a great coach, with a superstar, in a small market, with no pressure at all, and he was still impossible to manage. Hall of Fame forward Adrian Dantley, the Nuggets former longtime assistant, says the Knicks will be fine as long as they keep the ball in Jeremy Lin’s hands. “Melo and J.R. feel they must have the ball,” Dantley said. “They’d rather make the ‘ooh-ah’ type play vs. catch-and-shoot. Lin will make their lives a lot easier if the team keeps doin’ what it’s doin’.” New York Post

Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni understands Chandler may have some butterflies flying around in his stomach as today's game approaches. "I imagine there will be a lot of emotions, especially against the guys that he played with," D'Antoni said. "But Tyson's been on a few teams, so I would imagine he can't have emotions for every team. "But I would imagine it's more emotional in Dallas than it is here. When we go down to Dallas he'll have a little bit more emotions getting his ring, and being there with the [pregame] ceremony." Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Hawks forward Tracy McGrady’s private frustrations over his playing time finally boiled over after he played just 4:39 during the 97-77 loss to the Blazers late Saturday. “I’m tired of this [bleep],” McGrady said. “You can put that in the paper, I don’t give a [bleep].” McGrady didn’t play after halftime against the Blazers. He didn’t dress for Atlanta’s 101-99 victory at Phoenix Thursday but said it was his decision to rest for the second game of a back-to-back. Against the Blazers, McGrady never returned after Marvin Williams replaced him with 7:21 left in the first half. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

McGrady said he’s previously approached Drew about the topic but doesn’t plan on doing so again. “I have before but I’m only going to do that one time,” McGrady said. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Under CBA rules, McGrady would be eligible for a trade on March 1. He didn’t go so far as to say he wants out of Atlanta but said he wants to play a bigger role for the Hawks. “Hopefully, I’m here,” he said. “I like it here. I like the guys. That’s what I love most about it. I like the guys in this locker room. But at the same time, I still can play. No doubt in my mind.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Mbah a Moute said spirits are sagging as the losses have mounted. "It's not normal, but I think it can happen when people are frustrated with the way things are going," Mbah a Moute said. "The spirit goes down a little bit. "But somehow, some way, we've got to pick it up. We can't feel sorry for ourselves or we're going to sit here and keep losing. Everybody has to look at themselves and try to see what they can do to help the team and get us out of this funk, to get back to playing better basketball." Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Bucks guard Shaun Livingston expressed frustration over how the Bucks have let a number of games slip away. They held 10-point fourth-quarter leads in both losses to Orlando and mounted a late comeback but lost a three-point game to New Orleans at home Wednesday. "We've had a lot of games we should have won and games we were supposed to win, games we dropped to sub-.500 teams," Livingston said. "If we want to give ourselves any kind of chance of making the playoffs, we definitely have to capitalize on that after the all-star break." Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Q: Have you seen anything ever like Linsanity before? Steve Novak: Never. ... And what’s even crazier to me is, I don’t think it’s going anywhere. You see things sometimes where it’s a flash in the pan, and it’s like, “Oh, that was incredible, and now it’s gone.” I mean, it hasn’t stopped, and he’s being himself and he’s not forcing anything, and because he’s being himself, I feel like you can see this is Jeremy. It’s not like, “Wow, he’s making halfcourt shots. That’s gonna stop soon.” This is Jeremy being Jeremy. New York Post

Q: Personalize the 2011 Knicks for me — Jeremy Lin. A: When you talk about Linsanity, when you talk about the craziness that’s kinda been going on of late ... you can tell he really doesn’t like it, that’s not him. What’s going on is so maybe out-of-body or ... unexpected, that you just see how humble he really is. ... I think because he is such a genuine person and a guy who is so humble and is taking all in stride that there’s not a person in the locker room, or it seems like New York or maybe even the whole world, that’s not happy for him. New York Post

If anyone can explain how Jeremy Lin went from an end-of-the-bench afterthought to the brink of stardom in the NBA, there is a reputation waiting to be established. David “D.J.” Jones, athletic director, P.E. teacher and boys and girls basketball coach at Buckner Fanning Christian School in the northwest suburbs of San Antonio, has a better idea than most. He is the shot doctor who helped cure Lin's jumper. In addition to his many and varied functions at the school, Jones runs a shooting school he calls “Shooting for Success.” He combines teaching the basics of a fundamentally sound jump shot with the core values to which he also is committed. San Antonio Express-News

When the Knicks play the Mavericks on Sunday at the Garden, Baron Davis is planning to see his first action of the season after missing the first 31 games with a herniated disk in his back. “It will be a good chance for me to get some minutes,”' he said after practice on Saturday in Greenburgh. “I want to get out there and see where I am, what I need to work on, what’s bothering me and the things I need to correct.” New York Daily News

The first adjustment for Davis is a much-welcomed one for the 13-year veteran. Jeremy Lin’s surprisingly strong play has stopped all the talk of Davis filling the role of the team’s savior. Before Lin burst on the scene two weeks ago, the Knicks’ playmaking and offense were in such a shambles that Davis was being cast in an almost impossible situation. “Now I’m not the savior and I’m fine with that,” he said. “Jeremy is doing an excellent job. To be able to come in and give him some spot minutes here and there, I think I will only make the team better. That’s why they signed me, because they know I can come in here and help.” New York Daily News

Spurs guard/forward Manu Ginobili who only returned from injury this week was re-injured against the Clippers in the Spurs' 103-100 win over Los Angeles Saturday. Ginobili sustained a strained right oblique in the the first half and did not return. The Spurs have stated no timetable on him at this time. Most alarming for Spurs fans, ESPN quoted Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich after the game as saying the thought the Spurs had "lost (Ginobili) again." CBSSports.com

Houston Rockets forward Jordan Hill injured his right knee in practice Saturday and is expected to miss at least two weeks. Hill was evaluated by Dr. Walter Lowe, who found he has a sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee. NBA.com

Center Jason Collins said he would miss up to another month with a torn ligament in his left elbow. Collins received the prognosis during a checkup this week in Phoenix. “Another two to four more weeks,” Collins said before the Hawks faced the Trail Blazers late Saturday. “They showed me the MRI on the screen and the severity of the tear and highly recommended I stay in this brace so I can get back to the court as quickly as possible.” Collins suffered the sprain Feb. 2 against Memphis. His arm was pinned underneath an opponent as he scrambled for a loose ball. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

FIBA: Speaking of wanting more, can we expect to see you in London at the Olympics going for a second gold medal? Kobe Bryant: I'm definitely going to play. I'm looking forward to it, if anything else just not to let Pau (Gasol) win a gold medal (laughs). I'm not letting Pau get a free run at getting a gold medal. FIBA: One USA player who likely won't be in London is Chauncey Billups because of the injury he suffered recently. Bryant: Hopefully he'll still be there. I'd be surprised if he wasn't there in some capacity, helping out some of the younger guards. He did a great job helping Chris Paul a lot at the beginning of his career. I know Chris views Chauncey as almost a big brother. Chauncey did a great job showing Chris the tempo and pace of the game and things like that. FIBA.com

FIBA: What are your thoughts on the USA's preliminary squad? Bryant: We have so many great players, it's a good problem to have. The challenge has always been to put a good mix of players that play well together. It's not necessarily getting the best players but it's finding the players that fit together the best. FIBA: But if you, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony all play, the USA will have no shortage of star power. That can be intimidating for any of your opponents. Bryant: It's not about star power. It's really not. It's about putting a group together that plays well together. Spain play extremely well together, Argentina play extremely well together and so forth and so on. That's going to be our challenge. FIBA.com

FIRE NATE MCMILLAN!!! Chances are, if you are a Trail Blazers fan you have either said, heard, or read those words in the past couple of weeks. And Blazers coach Nate McMillan said that one way or another, he has either heard it, felt it, or sensed it during this trying season. "Of course you hear it, but you don't even have to hear it," McMillan said on Saturday. "You drop four (home) games, you lose to Washington, and you know what people are thinking and how they are feeling. So it's not that I'm walking out here assuming that people are not calling for my job. I get that. It's part of the business." Oregonian

But the only thing that has been more constant than the complaints about McMillan has been his own stubbornness to stick to his system. To believe in what he does. "Sometimes if you go down, you are going down your way," McMillan said Saturday. And that way does not include listening to fans. Or media. "I do care about what people say, because I understand that winning and losing has a big impact on this community every day," McMillan said. "But they are not in here, they don't know where our guys are at, and who is what. They don't work with these guys on a day-to-day basis. That's their opinion. They are coaches from the stands. We all do that. "But I have to do what I think is right." The people who make the ultimate decision whether McMillan is making the right decisions are backing him. Owner Paul Allen directed questions to team president Larry Miller, who said, "We still have complete confidence in Nate," and, "We are confident we are going to get it going in the right direction." Oregonian

Once again in contrast to the Clippers, none of this flatters the Lakers. But barring a trade, what does the team do to rekindle the excitement that was almost second nature to the Lakers for so many years? "Why would I try to appease the fans and play like we're not capable of playing with the guys that I can put on the floor?" Brown says. "If we win, I don't care what style we play, it's going to be entertaining. Los Angeles Times

Dumars shares a similarity with former rival Danny Ainge, who is trying to determine when to officially end the Big Three Era. Dumars perhaps hung on too long to Hamilton and Rasheed Wallace but eventually had to move his aging veterans and spend a couple of years in the draft lottery. “Probably around ’09 is when I started to see it,’’ Dumars said. “You started seeing us slow down, and we knew we’ve got to rebuild the foundation and start getting a younger base of guys because those teams had a tremendous run. “Once you see the run starting to fray and lose its legs, then you have to face the reality. We went to six straight conference finals, and there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that, and I was fine with acknowledging that. Boston Globe

“The people in the trenches probably know before anybody else knows. Just little things that start happening. Toward the end of our run [in the 1990s] we weren’t as good in back-to-backs. I saw that in ’08 and ’09 as well. “You start seeing little things like that but you know you are not as good. It’s the reality of facing that it’s coming to an end and, how do we want to deal with this? “And my thing is, you’ve got to rebuild the foundation. That’s what we’re doing now. And we’ll keep adding pieces until we get it back.’’ Boston Globe

He wears suits; suits don't wear him. On a given day at the Pepsi Center, one spots the slender 6-foot-4 Masai Ujiri walking — no, striding — with a purpose, Sinatra-y. His suits are tight but not restricting. He sports matching shades of colors you can't pronounce. A scouting report would describe his tie-knotting as "versatile." "Here's the deal," said Steve Hess, the Nuggets' longtime strength coach, about the team's general manager. "Someone once told me that how you look is how you feel. This is my belief in life. How you do one thing is how you do everything. If you take care of every aspect in life — your mind, your body and the way you present yourself — I think it runs over into everything you do. And that's what Masai does. He's meticulous." That's the word. Meticulous. No matter what language or African dialect it's in, that's Ujiri. Denver Post

Ujiri — whose name is pronounced Mah-sigh You-jeer-ee — is the NBA's first African-born general manager (or, per his official title, executive vice president of basketball operations). At 41, he's young for his position. Unlike some of his fellow execs, he never played in the NBA or, for that matter, in Division I. And, unlike some of his fellow executives, he's not a nerd, armed with formulas and fancy-pants degrees. He's a self-made scout who grew an eye for talent the way bodybuilders sculpt biceps. "I sit in those GM meetings and look across the room — you see Larry Bird, Danny Ainge, all these guys who you've read about," Ujiri said at a recent lunch at Sushi Sasa. "Am I in awe? Honestly I am, because of the opportunity life has given me. Am I going to compete against those guys? (Heck) yes. That's why I am among those 30 guys — to try to be better than them." Denver Post

February 2011. They were so close. It was all-star weekend and the Melo trade was close to being finalized. Except it wasn't. Ujiri was holding it up. Coach George Karl called Masai's cellphone and barked: "WHO THE (EXPLETIVE) IS MOZGOV?" Ujiri became the GM on Aug. 27, 2010. On that day, he began his plan to trade one of the best talents in Nuggets history. Anthony wanted out, so for the next six months, every single day, Ujiri, Kroenke and D'Alessandro methodically made plans, backup plans and backup plans for backup plans. They negotiated on multiple fronts. All along, the coach was losing his mind. And now, with the trade deadline looming, New York was offering three prized young players — Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton and Wilson Chandler. But Ujiri wanted more. Denver Post

Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan admits his team has an image problem, and he's not referring to their 4-26 record. It's something worse, in his opinion. Somehow, after eight seasons as a franchise, the Bobcats still are not considered a part of the fabric of the community. This is partly the team's own doing, he said, due to some regrettable moves, including a 2008 decision by former owner Robert Johnson to lay off the entire community relations staff. They were the ones responsible for coordinating team donations, community service projects and other acts of kindness. "The former owner let things slip," said Jordan, and opportunities were lost in the process. Charlotte Observer

Coincidentally, Robert Johnson remains a minority owner. When asked about the impact of laying off the community relations staff, he responded via email on Friday that he was "highly confident that under the current leadership, the Bobcats will be a successful NBA franchise and a continual contributor to the betterment of the Charlotte regional community." Jordan said that's the plan. "I'd like to be remembered as someone who wasn't just about the prize," he said. "When I'm gone, hopefully people will say: 'He did a lot, not just for basketball, but for the community. He touched people through his career.'" Charlotte Observer

The phone call was impulsive, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn calling the New York office of NBA Commissioner David Stern last Wednesday. Stern wasn't in town. But McGinn's exuberance was uncontained. Details of a proposed basketball and hockey arena were leaking out, so McGinn left a message: "We're serious here." He wanted to reinforce that the city's support for a complex deal was more than an obscure millionaire's dream. Stern didn't call back. But the league's president — Joel Litvin — contacted McGinn's office and received a detailed briefing on a proposal that has gone beyond a pipe dream and come to resemble an actual plan. Seattle Times

Can Seattle really support NBA and NHL franchises? It's a question worth asking because Seattle not only has NFL and Major League Baseball franchises, but a number of other popular teams. Sounders FC regularly draws more than 30,000 for its soccer matches; the Seattle Storm have won WNBA championships. The University of Washington, with its huge fan base, is undertaking a major rebuilding of Husky Stadium. David Carter of the Sports Business Group, which focuses on marketing and development, said saturation in terms of a fan base can be a concern. "But I think even more importantly, it's also about corporate saturation," he said. Seattle Times

However, having NHL and NBA franchises using the same facility creates the opportunity to maximize the revenue from that building. There are more dates, more patrons, more opportunities to sell hot dogs, advertising and all the rest. "In terms of a financing-the-deal perspective, those two teams really help that a lot," Carter said. That requires cooperation, though. Two teams trying to share the same space creates the possibility of friction in everything from dates to signage. "What is critical is to understand what the relationship is between those two teams and the venue operator," Carter said. "You don't want one of them feeling they're not getting what they wanted in the deal." Seattle Times

Well, if Allen Iverson's comeback attempt doesn't work out, it's good to know he's got options. The Major Indoor Soccer League's Rochester Lancers have offered The Answer a spot on their team. The Rochester Lancers, of the MISL’s top level of pro indoor soccer, today announced a contract offer to former NBA star, Allen Iverson. The Rochester Lancers host two remaining regular season home games to conclude their season. The offer stands at $20,000 per game, with a bonus of $5,000 per goal scored, win bonuses, and merchandise bonuses. There are over 12 goals scored on average per game. "Allen Iverson is one of the premier athletes of our time," said Rich Randall, Vice President of the Rochester Lancers. "With his athleticism and competitive hunger, I think he can be a great fit with our team and fans as we make an important playoff push, while also driving interest to an exciting, growing sport." via Rochester Lancers News | MISL PRO INDOOR SOCCER CLUB SENDS UNIQUE OFFER TO ALLEN IVERSON. CBSSports.com

Celtics forward Kevin Garnett, giving away food and other items at the Mildred Avenue Community Center in Mattapan as part of teammate Keyon Dooling’s Gametyme Foundation, Feb. 11, 2012. Garnett: “This is a lot of fun. I used to be a stock boy, so it brings back memories. Even though we had a game last night and we’re running on fumes right now, we won today in the community. We’re here to put a smile on people’s faces. To offer a little bit of your time, effort, and heart to people goes a long way. It’s important to give back, and I’m just happy to be a part of it. We’re players and a lot of people don’t get to see us unless we’re in the venue playing. It’s a great day, man. When I walked in here, I lit up like I was on a playground and I was 5 years old." Boston Globe

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