HoopsHype rumors

February 29, 2012 | 07:09 PM ET Update

Boston is aggressively shopping Rondo, according to sources. The Celtics find Rondo's personality to be too high-maintenance and his clashes with coach Doc Rivers continue. With the Celtics having realized they are no longer title contenders, they don't believe the payoff is worth the headaches Rondo brings, sources say. And they do not want to build around him. ESPN.com

Howard's preference would be to sign with New Jersey as a free agent, thereby allowing the Nets to keep the solid role players -- Brook Lopez, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, Jordan Farmar and Anthony Morrow -- they'd have to trade to get him before March 15. Orlando is underwhelmed by the Nets' personnel and would want a third or fourth team involved in any trade. It's possible the clubs could revisit the three-team trade they nearly pulled off in December since Portland is now, according to sources, once again willing to part with Gerald Wallace. Back in December, talks between the three teams had Wallace joining Lopez in Orlando. While the Nets would be amenable to such a deal, they don't currently have any three-team packages on the table because of the uncertainty over whether the Magic will trade Howard, sources said. It's difficult to arrange such complicated trade scenarios when you're not sure the main team in the deal will play ball. ESPN.com

Nonetheless, one Eastern Conference executive said he believes that if Howard is traded before the deadline, it will be to New Jersey. But the Nets should not begin stitching Howard's jersey just yet. The same executive, as well as several others around the association, believe the longer this goes on without a resolution, the better Dallas's chances of snagging both Howard and Williams. Mavs owner Mark Cuban is positioning himself to make a run at both players and if he can move Shawn Marion after the season, he could be in position to offer both players near-max deals. Williams, a Dallas native, would love to play in his hometown, and Howard, Dirk Nowitzki and he could form a big three that would rival Miami's. ESPN.com

New York is another place Howard would consider settling in long-term, and the talent-laden Knicks could offer a package that could rival just about anyone's, something along the lines of Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler. The Knicks, however, have not discussed this scenario with the Magic and sources say, they will only get involved in a potential trade for Howard if the Orlando center gives strong indications that he wants to play there. Otherwise, the Knicks do not believe it's worth the risk of potentially upsetting some of their star players by including them in a trade offer that's unlikely to be accepted. That said, the Knicks would send Amare Stoudemire to Orlando in a second. But the Magic have no interest in Stoudemire because of his bum knees and decreased production. ESPN.com

Houston still wants Gasol, and a package of Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry could perhaps get it done. But the Rockets, as much as they like Gasol, do not want to lose Lowry, sources say. With the point guard enjoying a breakout season -- and the Rockets winning as well -- Houston wants to build around Lowry. ESPN.com

Minnesota has long been rumored to be in the mix for Gasol, who wouldn't mind playing with Ricky Rubio, but sources say the clubs haven't spoken about a Pau trade in months. And with 26-year-old center Nikola Pekovic emerging (he's averaged 16.8 points and 9.9 rebounds on 57% shooting in February), the Timberwolves don't need to bring in the older and far more expensive Gasol, who is 31. ESPN.com

Kaman will almost certainly be moved. New Orleans has no use for him and simply wants to get something -- even if it's just a second-round draft pick -- for him, according to sources. A month ago, when the Hornets told Kaman to stay home and wait to be traded, they were asking for a young player, a draft pick and an expiring contract. Now, their aspirations aren't so lofty. Golden State, Houston and Miami have interest in Kaman. ESPN.com

In a conversation with an authoritative and tenured Clippers’ executive last week, he was asked again to either consult with the team on all public appearances and/or commercial ventures, or stop undertaking those opportunities representing himself inappropriately. His response was an offer to stop representing himself commercially in that way and his offer was accepted in principle. The next thing we heard was the baseless claims he has made today and the ensuing media rush to judgment. Orange County Register

Carl Lahr, senior vice president of marketing and sales, eventually returned Bailey’s call last week and informed him that the organization didn’t need him doing stories or speaking to the media on behalf of the team. “We got to talking and I said the way I feel, you don’t want Clipper Darrell no more,” Bailey told FishbowlLA Wednesday. “You want Darrell Bailey back. They said, ‘You would do that?’” Media Bistro

Former NBA player Orlando Woolridge has been released on bond following his arrest for stealing aluminum tubing at a drill site in DeSoto Parish. Chief Deputy Patrick Cobbs, of the parish sheriff's office, said Wednesday that deputies arrested the 52-year-old Woolridge on Feb. 24 on a charge of theft of over $1,500. He was released after posting $2,000 bond. Houston Chronicle

February 29, 2012 | 06:15 PM ET Update

The Minnesota Timberwolves offered to trade Michael Beasley to the Los Angeles Lakers for a first-round draft pick, but the Lakers turned them down, according to a league source. While Beasley, a talented and athletic small forward, would fill one of the Lakers' greatest needs, the Lakers rejected the offer because they do not want to add to their luxury tax bill, according to the source. ESPN.com

The Orlando Magic has made offers for Nash in the past and sources close to the situation say that they’ll attempt to acquire the 16-year veteran in the next two weeks. Dwight Howard has asked the front office to pursue Nash and sources close to Howard believe he won’t exercise his early termination option if the team is able to acquire Nash and re-sign him this summer. HoopsWorld

NBA star Byron Mullens is set to join Great Britain’s challenge at this summer’s Olympic Games, MVP has learnt. The seven-foot Charlotte Bobcats centre, who was born in Ohio, is currently averaging almost ten points per game in his third year in the league. With his mother hailing from Middlesex, the 23-year-old is understood to have completed the formalities of acquiring his British passport. MVP 24/7

His impending arrival has been endorsed by prospective GB team-mate Luol Deng, who revealed he has already spoken to Mullens about joining him on national duty. “When we played against Charlotte, I spoke to him a little bit and he seemed really excited,” the NBA All Star told MVP247.com. MVP 24/7

Clipper Darrell: It is with great sadness that I must report to all those in NBA NATION that I have been told by Clipper management they no longer want me to be Clipper Darrell, a name that was given to me by the media because of my unwavering support and team spirit. I am devastated!!!! I have been a season ticket holder for over a decade and a FAN for over 15 years and have dedicated a major part of my life to support the Clipper organization and it’s players no matter what the season’s outcome. Over the years (400 home games) I have gone to great lengths to show my appreciation and loyalty in my attire, the car I drive and in my very own home. I’ve taken seriously the mantra of being “Clipper Darrell” in performing community service, mentoring young children and my participation in outreach programs. I’ve appreciated the struggles of the team to overcome obstacles as I’ve done in my life. ClipperDarrell.com

“There’s no uncertainty about my future for me,” Nash told HOOPSWORLD. “I’m a Phoenix Sun, I want to finish the season with the Phoenix Suns. I want to see how good we can be and fight for my teammates and fight for my fans. That’s all I consider. I just try to get up every day and work hard so I can play at a high level and help my team. After that, I’m not really concerned with anything.” HoopsWorld

February 29, 2012 | 04:19 PM ET Update

The rumblings we're hearing out of Orlando seem to say that the Magic are leaning toward holding onto Dwight Howard and trying to figure something out in the summer. Of course, that can change if the right offer comes along. Frankly, if I'm the Magic I'd take what the Nets are offering Lopez, + role players a mountain of picks or what the Lakers are offering Bynum possibly Gasol. Either one is better than the end game of losing Howard for nothing. ESPN.com

Last weekend, as Howard was playing host to the NBA All-Star game, another story started to circulate. Sources close to the situation told HOOPSWORLD that Howard was considering staying in Orlando for one more season by simply choosing not to opt out. Ironically, that might just give the the Magic’s all-world center his best shot at winning a championship . . .in Orlando. HoopsWorld

The problem is that while Rondo, Allen, KG and Pierce are all excellent players, none of them have great trade value right now. Rondo has the most, but many teams are worried about chemistry issues with him. Allen and KG are well past their primes and are free agents next season. Pierce is better but he's due $16.8 million next year. I'm not sure how Danny pulls this off. ESPN.com

“I love Russia, but it was a crazy experience for me as far as trying to learn the European game. It was so hard for me. I was just playing strictly off of talent and what I knew from the NBA. Just me being there and that experience, me being there it was unbelievable man. The people there are a little different. No English, of course, but I had fun. I feel like I got better. I feel like I came there and I left there a better person. At the end of the day, that’s what matters to me. HoopsWorld

Said Gumbel on-air during the lockout: "David Stern was eager to be seen as some kind of modern plantation overseer treating NBA men as if they were boys." Stern, talking to Bob Costas for a show airing on NBC Sports Network, played it cool in his recollection of his response at the time: "His ratings are going down. It's a slow news day. He wants some headlines." Bettman was unequivocal on Gumbel: "That is probably the most ignorant, stupidest statement I've ever heard." USA Today

February 29, 2012 | 02:32 PM ET Update

It remains to be seen how willing Nash is to stay after two seasons of steady decline on Sarver's watch since the Suns' Cinderella trip to the 2010 Western Conference finals. The New York Knicks' interest in pursuing Nash as a free agent in the summer is well-documented ... and sources with knowledge of the Dallas Mavericks' thinking say that the defending champs will definitely try to reunite Nash and Dirk Nowitzki in free agency in July if top targets Dwight Howard and Deron Williams elude them. The Toronto Raptors' interest in bringing Captain Canada back home is also well-established. ESPN.com

Sarver, though, is apparently determined to try to convince Nash to retire in the desert. The thinking there, sources say, is that the Suns believe they'd have a better core going forward with a re-upped Nash, center Marcin Gortat, cap space and a top pick in the well-regarded 2012 draft than with the sort of assets they could bring back now in a deadline deal for a 38-year-old point guard who, even as he continues to play at an All-Star level, is just a few months away from free agency. ESPN.com

There are a couple voices out there on the NBA grapevine cautioning that the Suns are listening to Nash pitches more than they're letting on, but the overwhelming majority of insiders surveyed by ESPN.com in recent days continue to insist that Nash is going nowhere. ESPN.com

That's despite the fact that the Blazers, sources say, are still trying hard to pry Nash away from the Suns. RealGM.com, meanwhile, reported Sunday that the Magic likewise want to try to acquire Nash before the deadline as a means of appeasing Howard. "Portland," says one source close to the situation, "has been interested in Nash for a while." Said another: "Because of his age and because he can leave in the summer, offers for Nash haven't been as star-laden as you'd think." ESPN.com

Chris Mannix: Everything I'm hearing is Howard's preferred destination is NJ. Chance to be the alpha male, in Brooklyn, playing with D-Will is enticing Twitter

Marcus Thompson: Warriors still hold interest in Danny Granger, though Indiana won't trade him. But if you think about it, what's the better tandem: Paul George/Granger or Paul George/Monta? Perhaps the better question is what's the better trio: Collison/George/Granger or Collison/Ellis/George? ... I'd have to go with the former. Sulia

Over All-Star weekend, Lin said he hoped that focus would shift to the Knicks — all of the them — in the season’s final months. On Tuesday, he was asked how. “Um, I don’t know,” Lin told a throng of reporters. “You guys just start talking more about the Knicks and less about me. Keep me out of the headlines, I guess.” New York Times

"I think a lot of us made a lot of selfish decisions that day. I made a selfish decision to stop trying to break it up and to confront Lindsey Hunter and Richard Hamilton. That was my selfish decision. Ron made a selfish decision by going into the stands. We all made selfish decisions, but at the same time, we were protecting each other. It's kind of hard to see if that's right or wrong." — Stephen Jackson Grantland

Jackson: Ben was the wrong person [to foul] because, if I'm not mistaken, his brother had just passed and he was going through some issues.5 I was guarding Ben, I let him score. I was trying to let the clock run out. And Ron just came from out of nowhere and just clobbered him. I'm like, "What the hell is going on?" I had no clue that was about to happen. When that happened, everything just happened so fast, man. Grantland

Jackson: My initial reaction was to go grab Ron. But as soon as I hopped up [into the stands], another guy threw a beer in his face. My reaction was to retaliate. I don't regret being there for my teammate. But I regret going in the stands and fighting fans. It was totally wrong, but you don't think about that when somebody you call your brother is in harm's way. The only thing you're thinking about is getting out there and helping him. That's the definition of a teammate, being together, being there for your teammate. And like Tim Duncan says, I'm the ultimate teammate. Grantland

O'Neal: Nobody knows this — the Pistons security had just told that man to leave the building before that even happened. Nobody knows that that same guy threatened Yao Ming.21 People don't know that. People don't know some of the bad scenarios of the people who were caught up in that situation. But they know everything about the players. That man had been plotting to start fights against players so he could get paid. That's a fact. Grantland

Jackson: When we got in the locker room, Ron said this: "Man, I didn't know we had this many real n----- on our team." We had a lot of guys who came up hard, that beat the odds. I was out of high school. Jermaine was out of high school. Jonathan Bender. Jamaal Tinsley had a hard life. Ron had a hard life. A lot of us had similar situations, so a lot of us really didn't think at the time. But I don't ever expect him or anyone else to say thank you for being there for him. That's something that I chose to do as me being my own man. Grantland

Jackson: Rick is like, "Everybody calm down. Everybody calm down." Everybody was still kind of in awe. I remember Jermaine just jumped up; he looked like he had turned into the Incredible Hulk. He said, "Next time we fighting, don't you MF's grab us!" And Rick jumped up and got just as big as Jermaine and said, "We were just trying to help!" And so it ended up looking like the team and the coaches were about to fight. That's what it seemed like. Grantland

O'Neal: We had to fight to get into the locker room. Not literally fight, but pushing and moving people to get into the locker room. We had no security to help us out. I was walking through there and we're getting grabbed and basically they were trying to push us through — Chuck and some other coaches — but our arms were down. The way they were holding our arms down and everything was just hitting us in the face, that was the discussion. I was upset, you know? Just allow me to protect myself. Grantland

Pollard: That's 100 percent true. We laughed our asses off about that. "Yeah, Ron. Yeah, there are going to be some problems, buddy. You hit a fan." I couldn't believe it. He was in shock that what he had just done was bad. I don't know what his mentality is like on the inside, but outside looking in, you can sit there and say, "Wow. That's trippy that somebody can go through that type of experience and wonder if there's going to be repercussions." Grantland

Jackson: The best, crazy part of the night was when we got on the bus. We were so riled up. We felt like not only did we win the game, but we won the fight. We felt like we just stole Detroit's heart at the time. Until we got home and we saw those fines and suspensions — [then] reality set in. Grantland

Hip hop artist Nicki Minaj took a shot at Chris Bosh in her latest song. Minaj’s track “Roman Reloaded” featuring Lil’ Wayne has a line that makes fun of Chris Bosh for infamously crying after the Heat lost in the NBA Finals to the Mavericks last year. “All you **** crying, Christopher Bosh,” she says in the song. Larry Brown Sports

Basketball superstar Michael Jordan's longtime family home in Highland Park is on the market, but it'll cost a bit more than the latest must-have pair of Air Jordans. And no, it's not $23 million. It's listed for $29 million, putting it in rare air as the highest-priced home listing in the Chicago market. The secluded compound, with more than 56,000 square feet of living space, has nine bedrooms, 15 full baths, four half baths and five fireplaces. The property also includes a three-bedroom guesthouse, an indoor-outdoor entertaining and pool area, an outdoor tennis court, a putting green, a deep water pond and three climate-controlled garages that hold 15 cars. Chicago Tribune

February 29, 2012 | 08:30 AM ET Update

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo was on NBC’s SportsTalk on Tuesday and one of the questions was about the Celtics — would they really break up the “big three” with a trade? Yes. Yes, they would. Interestingly, Woj says that Pierce is the most likely to be moved, but we keep hearing there is interest in Rajon Rondo. Either way, don’t be shocked if Boston makes a move. NBCSports.com

Adrian Wojnarowski: "Boston is very active out there. They're willing to trade any of that Big Three if they can find a deal that helps them going forward with cap space, with draft picks. Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers have determined internally 'we're not contenders, we're not going to win the championship this year'... And if the right deal comes along for Pierce, Garnett or Ray Allen, they're gonna move them. NBCSports.com

Ellis, Lee and Curry are all hearing their names among trade rumors as the March 15 deadline approaches. The Warriors have been active in talks about Ellis, looking for a star in return or considering deals that would package the scoring dynamo with Andris Biedrins' bad contract. Warriors sources said there is little to the buzz about dealing Ellis for New Jersey center Brook Lopez. They're still convincing themselves that they're in the running for Orlando center Dwight Howard, who has made it abundantly clear that he doesn't want to play in the Bay Area. San Francisco Chronicle

"That's for the front office. We have dialogue every day, but my focus is on getting better every possession, every quarter, every game," Jackson said. "We talk about how we can get better and how we can accomplish our goals, which are to get to the playoffs and have a legitimate chance to win it all." The Warriors gave hints of legitimacy right before the All-Star break. They had an impressive win over the Pacific Division-leading Clippers and exorcised some demons with a victory at Phoenix. "There's no question that we knew this was an important game for us, but we didn't play like it," Lee said. "We went into the break playing great basketball and had a rhythm," Jackson said. "We came back and everything we had going for us is what we didn't have. You can't game plan for a lack of effort. You can't game plan for turnovers. You can't game plan for second-chance points. San Francisco Chronicle

2–Orlando would have to be intrigued by some of the Warriors players. (The GSWs believe Orlando GM Otis Smith, a former Warriors exec, likes several players on the GSW roster, including Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and others. (Now, LIKE is a lot different than LOVE, but the Warriors want to keep going with that.) 3–Orlando would have to lean towards acquiring young veterans and not just accrue 1st-round picks, because the Warriors don’t have 1st-round picks to offer. (The GSWs are hoping the recent comments by 85-year-old Orlando owner Richard DeVos show that he doesn’t want to start a massive rebuilding project and that he could favor ready-to-go players like Ellis, David Lee and others.) San Jose Mercury-News

On Tuesday, (Deron) Williams admitted to HOOPSWORLD that he isn’t sure if he’ll return to the Nets. “My priority is winning a championship,” said Deron. “I don’t know where I’m going to be next season, and I have to be ready to take my game to the next level, wherever I am.” Certainly when the Nets traded Derrick Favors, Devin Harris and two first-round picks to the Utah Jazz, they expected to retain Williams for more than just a year and a half. “I feel good about where I am in my career. I’ve accomplished a lot of things individually, and that’s been great. I’ve been recognized as an All-Star and that sort of thing, but what I really want now is to win a championship,” said Williams. “The individual stuff is great, but I’m ready to chase a bigger team goal.” HoopsWorld

The timing alone may be prohibitive if Howard is dealt right before the deadline. Certainly New Jersey won’t give up on the Williams/Howard possibility until all avenues are exploited. A source close to the Nets has indicated the team is likely to roll the dice in July (if no Howard deal at the deadline) and if losing Deron is the result, get right back on the road to rebuild with plenty of cap space. New Jersey has tremendous pressure to land Howard before the deadline, or at worst, in free agency. They may . . . but equally the franchise may be starting over once again this summer. HoopsWorld

Even Cuban himself downplayed the notion that the Mavericks will go hard after Williams when he becomes available July 1. “Let me say this: There’s a lot of presumptions going on about what we’re going to do this summer, but you shouldn’t pay attention to anything you’ve read or heard because that’s not the way we approach things,” Cuban said. “We’re the last organization to get one thing in our mind and that’s the only thing we’re going to do ... I’m going be opportunistic. We’re going to try to create a championship team, or continue to be a championship team, and that’s evaluating everything in front of you and making the right decisions with the new CBA.” Newark Star-Ledger

The Jazz are open to making a move before the March 15 trade deadline to improve the team, The Salt Lake Tribune has learned, but a deal isn't imminent. Utah also doesn't feel pressure to move starting big men Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap to make room for young power forward Derrick Favors and center Enes Kanter in the near future. The Jazz are still evaluating a team that has 10 contests remaining before the trade deadline, including tough home matchups against Miami and Houston, and a five-game road trip featuring contests at Dallas, Philadelphia and Chicago. Utah has lost eight of 10 and is just 6-13 since starting 9-4. However, the Jazz are only five games behind the fourth-place Mavericks in a stacked Western Conference, and Utah has not become a seller yet. Salt Lake Tribune

The Raptors have until Thursday to submit an offer sheet to restricted free agent Wilson Chandler. Don’t count on that happening even though he met with team management last week. The Raptors would love to have the versatile swingman who can both defend and score, but don’t have the cap space to submit an offer Denver would not match. Toronto Sun

Teams have been testing their long distance plans with calls to the ACC, but Toronto doesn’t seem eager to bite on a multitude of offers for Calderon and Leandro Barbosa. Moving Calderon doesn’t make much sense at this point — he has had a fine season and is the only man on the roster capable of being a starting point guard in the NBA. He will be even more valuable in the summer with only a year left on his contract should the team acquire other options by then. Or he could stay put with a bevy of talented young potentially restricted free agent point guards hitting the market in the summer of 2013. Toronto Sun

Chandler’s options are to sign with the Nuggets long-term, return overseas to play out the year (this time in Italy, according to his agent) or to sign an offer sheet with another team this week. The Nuggets aren’t interested in signing Chandler only for the rest of the season, which would turn him into an unrestricted free agent this summer. According to sources, Toronto has balked at Chandler’s asking price, but has not completely closed the door if he becomes unrestricted and is willing to accept less money. Raptors president/general manager Bryan Colangelo has said in the past that he is interested in extended Barbosa, who will be unrestricted this season. Colangelo drafted Barbosa while running the Phoenix Suns. Toronto Sun

For his part, Barbosa said he pays trade rumours no mind and would be quite happy to stay put. “I love my teammates, I love the way we work together. If it happens, it’s part of the business, there’s nothing I can do about it,” Barbosa told the Sun. “I like Toronto, I like the organization, don’t have a problem with anybody. We are young, but we are learning. The team has grown a lot, especially with Dwane Casey coming to the team, he’s really helping us.” Toronto Sun

According to the report, Roy has been exploring medical treatments on the degenerative knees that caused him to retire before this season and he's not ruling out a return to the court. The news was met with shock at the Blazers' practice. McMillan had not heard about the report, and when a reporter asked for his reaction, his face -- which looked as if he had seen a ghost -- said more than any words could. "I haven't seen that, I haven't heard that," McMillan said. "But that would be surprising." Oregonian

The news was even surprising to Jamal Crawford, a close friend who talks to Roy several times a week and saw him as recently as Sunday, when Crawford was visiting Seattle over the All-Star break. "I read it on HoopsHype like everybody else," Crawford said. "It caught me off guard, too." Oregonian

Crawford said Roy has not stopped working out since he informed the Blazers on Dec. 8 that he was retiring, and that he continues to play in pickup and other basketball games in the Seattle area. How close Roy is to returning remains a mystery. "I talked to him two days ago and he didn't say anything about coming back," Crawford said. "I mean he's kicked the idea around before. But he didn't say anything like it was for sure or anything." Perhaps the only person at practice who wasn't completely stunned was LaMarcus Aldridge. The Blazers All-Star said he has been hearing whispers that Roy was pondering a return. And while Aldridge has not spoken to Roy recently, he could guess his motivation. "Missing the game," Aldridge said. "A lot of players leave the game and it's hard to just be at home. You miss that competitive edge. He was one of the best closers in the game. So obviously he lives for that. He's probably just been missing it." Oregonian

The Clippers have added Bobby Simmons to the roster, giving them the maximum 15 players, but that doesn't mean they won't listen and make phone calls before the March 15 NBA trading deadline. Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said that he and Neil Olshey, the team's vice president of basketball operations, will look at ways to improve the team. "There's things that come across the desk that you look at and talk about," Del Negro said. "But unless there is something that Neil and myself feel can make us a better team. . . . "Obviously I'm very pleased with our team right now. . . . I have a lot of confidence in our guys. But if there is something that makes us a stronger team, then we'll discuss it and take a look at it." Los Angeles Times

Former NBA big man Earl Barron signed a deal in the Philippines with Meralco Bolts. The big man has played two games with the Warriors in the current NBA season scoring 2ppg. Sportando

He's averaging 17.5 points, shooting 44.7 percent and hasn't been finishing around the rim the way he did in the past. When asked if he could get his explosiveness back, Stoudemire said: "Stay tuned. Stay tuned." He and coach Mike D'Antoni pointed out several reasons why the Knicks' big man doesn't look like the same player he was last season. It wasn't mentioned, but the emotional strain of losing his older brother in a car wreck this month undoubtedly has had some effect on him. Stoudemire spent most of the offseason strengthening his back to try to prevent some issues he had last year. He said he wasn't cleared to play full-court "until a little bit before training camp," and his rhythm has suffered. Newsday

D'Antoni said some of Stoudemire's drop-off is a byproduct of not having a point guard to run the pick-and-roll early this season. Jeremy Lin has filled that void, and D'Antoni expects him to end the season impressively. "Some of it's psychological," D'Antoni said. "I think he's raring to go and wants to have a great 31 games and into the playoffs. I'm counting on him. I'm betting on him. "Physically, he's great. Did he put on a couple of pounds to get muscle? Maybe. He went through all of this stuff to do everything he can to be physically ready. Like I said, a lot of it is psychological. I think he's ready to explode." Newsday

As for the added weight slowing him down, Stoudemire said candidly: “It might have. It’s the biggest I’ve ever been.” He added, “There’s no excuses for that. But I wanted to get stronger, I wanted to definitely heal my back.” Over the past two months, Stoudemire has shed 10 pounds, to 250, as he works his way toward 245, his playing weight last season. “It was all muscle, which looked good,” he said with a playful smile. “But to play my style of basketball and be a force full-court, fast-break guy that I always played like, maybe shed a few pounds.” New York Times

During one of two lengthy interviews, West discussed how his reputationand market value as a player have been affected by comedians, rappers and media poking fun at his personal life. To put it in the proper context, here is the passage from our story: There's an elephant in the room _ the Internet rumor _ that the reporter has no intention of broaching because it was never remotely substantiated. It, too, became part of comedy routines. "It's affected me," West says. "Everywhere I go, first question, 'Don't tell me you did that.' " "That" would be the rumor that during the 2010 playoffs, West had a sexual encounter with Cleveland Cavaliers teammate LeBron James' mother, Gloria. Dallas Morning News

West says he wants to permanently squash the rumor not just for his sake, but mostly for James and his mother, who West says expressed nothing but kindness during his three seasons in Cleveland. In fact, West says Gloria James reminded him of his single mother, Delphina Addison, who raised Delonte and his siblings to be "happy-poor, just enjoy life and the blessings that God has given us. "If we want to continue to grow as a human race, what are we teaching our kids if we try to make humor and fun out of stuff like that?" West says of the rumor. "Number one, something like that never happened. I don't know where they got that from. "For a strong black woman like that, for people to try to tear her down, that's terrible. That's terrible in so many ways." Dallas Morning News

Vincent Goodwill: #Pistons Tayshaun Prince on the effort tonight: "Still on vacation." From the creator of #Buffoonery Twitter

In addition to a broken nose, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant suffered a concussion in the third quarter of the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday when Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade fouled Bryant across the face. The 16-year veteran visited Dr. John Rehm, an ear, nose and throat specialist, on Tuesday morning where his nasal fracture was confirmed. Bryant was experiencing other symptoms related to the nose injury and was sent to neurologist Dr. Vern Williams, who diagnosed the concussion. ESPN.com

The NBA enacted a new concussion policy prior to the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season. Any player diagnosed with a concussion will have to complete a series of tests to confirm he is healthy enough to return to game action. Once a player is free of symptoms related to the concussion, he must pass a series of physical challenges with increasing stages of exertion -- from a stationary bike, to jogging, to agility work, to non-contact team drills -- while ensuring the symptoms don't return after each one. Before the player is ultimately cleared, the neurologist hired to lead the NBA's concussion program must be consulted. In Bryant's case, Dr. Williams will have to confer with Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Michigan, who is the inaugural director of the NBA's concussion program. Wade said Tuesday that he sent a message of apology to Bryant. "It's all I can do," Wade said of the message to Kobe. "He knows it's no ill intent of me to do that to him. Talk about me for taking the foul, but I never wanted that kind of outcome." ESPN.com

Curry said doctors told him he would be out a week. So Thursday is the day they recommended he return. Curry would have played Tuesday (or at least lobbied Jackson to let him play) had the pregame workout gone well. But Curry said he has one more hurdle to clear -- the plant and pivot. The consensus is he won't play until he's fully recovered. "It's the right thing to do," Jackson said. "You've got to use wisdom and make sure he's 100 percent healthy." Contra Costa Times

Andrew Bynum declared his right knee “all good” Tuesday after Lakers practice. Bynum got a lubricant injection Friday — one his personal doctor David Altchek had scheduled in advance of Bynum tweaking the knee Thursday night — and said it takes three or four days for the knee to return to normal. “It was bothering me specifically after the Oklahoma City game (Thursday),” Bynum said. “I took a little contact in it.” Orange County Register

Tyson Chandler was hoping his injured left wrist would heal over the All-Star break. But he had trouble catching the basketball during Knicks practice Tuesday and wouldn't rule out sitting out if it continues hampering him. "If I feel like it's doing more harm than good, then maybe we'll discuss it," Chandler said. "I kind of felt that way in the last couple of games because I felt like a lot of plays, especially I think it was the Jersey game, a couple key plays, we came up with a steal and I wasn't able to make the outlet and it kind of just fell out of my hands. "As long as I can kind of fight through it, I'll stay out there. But like I said, if I feel like it's getting worse, then maybe it's something that we need to discuss." Newsday

DeAndre Jordan's Twitter photos of sleeping teammates are a hit. Even though the Clippers fly on a private jet, the players remain anxious throughout their flights. When Caron Butler dozes off, he plants one of his long legs in the aisle as a booby trap to alert him if anyone is approaching. Blake Griffin sleeps with a blanket tied around his head. "I don't know how he [is] breathing under there," Reggie Evans said. What do the players fear? Clippers center DeAndre Jordan. Jordan co-founded a movement he calls "got 'em," in which he patrols the team plane searching for a teammate who has fallen asleep. After he finds a victim, he snaps a picture and tweets it to his nearly 100,000 followers. Los Angeles Times

"We've almost gotten every coach besides Vinny" Del Negro, Jordan said. "I'm not going to get Vinny because I want to keep playing. " The photo movement was started by Evans at the beginning of the season when he took a shot of Eric Bledsoe asleep on the team bus. Jordan then took it to the next level, and began waiting for unsuspecting teammates to fall asleep. "Now everyone on the plane sleeps with their glasses on, hats on their face, covers on their face, trying not to get" photographed, Jordan said. It's a source of merriment for the team, and the players say it has strengthened their bond. "We're all around the same age, so we really have that brotherly connection and it's showing on the court," Jordan said. The Clippers were atop of the Pacific Division at the All-Star break for the first time in franchise history. Los Angeles Times

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