HoopsHype rumors

April 7, 2012 | 08:08 PM ET Update

Nonetheless, I’ve assured by a couple team sources that Mark Jackson is safe – as safe as could be expected anyway. They won’t say that publicly – Joe Lacob, who would play the role of Donald Trump should Jackson be fired, offered only a no comment. Still, it’s understood among management that Jackson will be back and Golden State executives like the job he is doing. Someone high up will say as much at season’s end. Contra Costa Times

Watching West then shift his attention to his still-healing right ring finger, wrapping it tight to his middle finger and then both over padding, that he mangled in mid-February only to return to action last week, Mavs strength and conditioning coach Robert Hackett was asked how many guys tape their own body parts. "None," Hackett said. Smith, who said Steve Novak used to tape his own ankles, joked that West likes to call himself a D-League athletic trainer. Smith would give West a final check-over in the training room before West donned his head band and headed to the court for pre-game warmups. ESPN.com

But when the Swedes participate in the Eurobasket 2013 Qualifiers, from mid-August through mid-September, Jerebko won't be wearing one. “I'm very disappointed,” he said. “Of course, I want to represent my country and play. But I'm looking forward to next summer and joining them again, and I wish them all the luck this summer. I'm definitely going to keep a close eye on it. “I know my teammates, on that team, will understand my decision after coming off an injury like that, so I'm not really worried about it. I'm just looking forward to playing with them next summer and I wish them all the luck.” Booth Newspapers

Within a one-year span, Jim Cleamons went from serving as an assistant to the NBA's most accomplished coach in Phil Jackson to suddenly looking for work. He spent this summer coaching Zhejiang Guangsha of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), but he doesn't plan on returning. "One of the reasons the Chinese job was intriguing to me is the season is over with and I have this opportunity to look, secure and interview maybe at the collegiate level," said Cleamons, who coached former New York Knicks forward Wilson Chandler. "I'm still hopeful and optimistic that may happen." Los Angeles Times

NBA teams are averaging 17,273 fans per game through April 3, flat compared to the same period last year. The Bulls continue to lead all clubs at the gate, filling United Center to 105.5% capacity. The 76ers lead all NBA clubs with a 19.1% jump at the gate compared to last season. Sports Business Daily

Dennis Rodman sat down with the “Today Show” to set the record straight on his personal life. In the interview, the Basketball Hall of Famer disputed reports that emerged two weeks ago stating that he was broke and sick, saying he’s neither. “I’m not a deadbeat dad,” Rodman said. “Yeah, I pay child support. I’m not one of the guys that made Michael Jordan money or Scottie Pippen money. I made a decent living in the NBA, but broke? I’m not broke,” he says. Yardbarker.com

Asked about having a drinking problem, Rodman disputed that, too. “I’m not sick, man. People have had those allegations about me since 1995. ‘Dennis parties a lot, Dennis does this.’ I’m going to do what I do. I’ve proved people wrong from day one, I’m still proving people wrong that the fact that I’m still loving it.” “I feel good. I’m 50 years old, I do go out and have a good time, and most of the things I do is based on appearances around the world.” Yardbarker.com

Rodman also says he’s unlikely to suffer a similar fate to recently deceased stars like Whitney Houston and Amy Winehouse because he does not do cocaine. “I never even tried cocaine. I never even came near cocaine,” he states. Yardbarker.com

On the drive, Martin made a phone call to transfer some money — to help control spending, he had only a small amount accessible at any given time — and ran into an problem. He’d turned most of his money over to be managed by Dave Salinas, a friend and mentor. Salinas, a successful Houston-area financial adviser, guided Martin through AAU ball, had been a constant confidante and even bought Martin his first car. “A father figure,” Martin calls him. Martin didn’t know what was wrong with his account and didn’t have time to figure it out. He attended the funeral and when he turned on his phone later, he was inundated with text messages: Have you heard the news? Washington Post

Martin said he lost “hundreds of thousands.” While he’s working with attorneys to recoup some of that money from Salinas’s estate, he was instantly put in a bind last summer. Martin said he had only $1,000 in his account and with the NBA lockout jeopardizing the 2011-12 season, he didn’t know when he’d receive another paycheck. Washington Post

April 7, 2012 | 05:14 PM ET Update

BHSN has learned that a discussion of a hypothetical head coaching change took place between Howard and recently resigned Magic CEO Bob Vander Weide, however, no offseason coaching change was made, which led to part of Howard's growing frustration with the team. A phone call to Vander Weide was not immediately returned. "Dwight has nothing to do with the coach situation," according to Kevin Samples, Howard's manager. When asked why a coaching change wasn't made after the Magic were bounced in the first round of the playoffs last season, Samples said, "That's a great question. You'll have to ask Otis (Smith)." News 13

Though Clippers star forward Blake Griffin didn't speak to the media during his team's pregame shootaround Saturday morning, his coach, Vinny Del Negro, and teammate Chris Paul did. And each of them more than stuck up for Griffin, who Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins said after Thursday's game was "babied" by referees and is an "actor" on the court. "I think Blake is a good actor, I’ve seen his commercials," Del Negro quipped Saturday, hours before the Kings and the Clippers were scheduled to tip off in a rematch game at Staples Center. "I think he does a good job with them. But I wouldn’t say he’s an actor on the court." Los Angeles Times

Good news for the Pistons, good news for Pistons fans … bad news for Charlie Villanueva, at least as it translates to an opening to playing time for the third-year Piston who, like so many of his teammates, got caught in the crosswinds of turmoil that upended his first two seasons with the franchise. He’s itching to play – “dying to play” as he told me Friday night, headed to the court for a pregame workout in Atlanta. Is he disappointed that he’s not in the rotation, playing in only two games since missing 32 with a right ankle injury that cropped up in training camp? Absolutely. Is he allowing disappointment to spill into a frustration that erodes his hunger? Nope. NBA.com

Michael Beasley says he plans to play tonight in New Orleans wearing a shoe one size bigger to accomodate his swollen big toe. That'd be a size 18 then. "It feels better than it did the last two weeks," he said. Beasley has not played since March 27 at Memphis on a bad toe he first injured March 12 at Phoenix. He said he hopes to play through the injury for the season's final three weeks. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

April 7, 2012 | 01:26 PM ET Update

Adam Morrison and Besiktas are close to reaching an agreement to part ways. The American forward landed in Turkey last January as replacement of the injured Marcelus Kemp. With the Turkish team Morrison has played 8 games in TBL averaging 11.8ppg. With the return of Kemp, Morrison had limited minutes and negotiated to break the contract Former Gonzaga has started the season in Serbia with Red Star leaving the team in December when the lockout ended. Morrison could find a contract in the NBA so decided to return to Europe but his second stint in the Old Continent is close to finish. Sportando

Charlotte forward Eduardo Najera didn't suffer any brain trauma after taking an inadvertent elbow to the head from Milwaukee's Jon Brockman during Friday night's 95-90 loss. Najera had a CT scan at a hospital that showed he suffered a fractured frontal bone. He accompanied his teammates on a flight back to Charlotte on Saturday morning after leaving the hospital, according to team spokesman B.J. Evans. ESPN.com

According to sources, Dolan isn’t ready to name Thomas to a formal Knicks’ position – even with Donnie Walsh’s quasi- consulting position soon coming to an end. The Post reported last summer the Knicks owner still maintains a friendship with Thomas but was disappointed his compadre publicly spoke about wanting Donnie Walsh’s position and believed he was secretly lobbying with select media members. New York Post

April 7, 2012 | 08:02 AM ET Update

Texas A&M junior Khris Middleton is leaving the Aggies and will declare for the NBA draft, a source told CBSSports.com's Jeff Goodman. Middleton, a 6-foot-7 small forward from South Carolina, missed 12 games this past season, including seven of the first eight and another five games in late January and early February. He had surgery on his right knee in November, and tweaked it again during conference play. CBSSports.com

Alabama has parted ways with Tony Mitchell. The talented 6-foot-6 junior was suspended back in early February and later dismissed from the team by Anthony Grant. The school announced on Friday that Mitchell and teammate Charles Hankerson were given their release to look elsewhere. However, sources indicate that Mitchell, who averaged 13.1 points and seven boards for the Crimson Tide this season, may wind up declaring for the NBA. The source told CBSSports.com that Mitchell still has work to do academically to be able to transfer to another school. CBSSports.com

F Deshaun Thomas on his decision to remain with Buckeyes next season rather than make himself eligible for the NBA draft: "We have a great team returning next season and I want to be a part of another championship run. My family, my coaches and I looked at my future as a professional, but I love being a Buckeye and want to continue my education and development as a player and as a person at Ohio State." CBSSports.com

San Diego State sophomore Jamaal Franklin, as assistant coach Tony Bland likes to say, has committed to the NBA for next season. Nothing But Aztecs. Franklin, the Mountain West Player of the Year, indicated he will return to Montezuma Mesa for his junior season, according to Coach Steve Fisher and others in the program. Franklin never actually declared for early entry into the June 28 NBA Draft, as top underclassmen are allowed to do. But he and Fisher did request an evaluation from the NBA’s Undergraduate Advisory Committee, a select group of front-office personnel from NBA teams that provides feedback about a player’s draftability. UTSanDiego

Sam Amico: Alex Young (IUPUI), a potential NBA first-rounder, playing in Portsmouth Invite. Chris Johnson (Dayton), Julian Muvanga (Miami) lone Ohioans Twitter

Has the drama changed things between Van Gundy and Howard? "It wasn't awkward last night," Van Gundy said. "It wasn't awkward today. It wasn't any different than it was two days ago, three days ago, two weeks ago, three weeks ago or anything else." Howard said he and Van Gundy agreed to keep everything between them. "We keep that in the family," Howard said. "We keep that between each other and the locker room. There's no need for me to go back on whatever he said. Whatever we discussed has to stay between me and him and the team. There's no need for me to try and clear the air with anybody." ESPN.com

Later in the third, Griffin shoved Gasol in the back as Gasol attempted a dunk, drawing a personal foul. The league upgraded it to a flagrant foul 1 on Friday, but told the Lakers it saw nothing wrong with either dunk. "The league said (the dunks) were called correctly," coach Mike Brown said before the Lakers played host to the Houston Rockets. "They said there was normal contact (on the first dunk). On the last one, they said Pau jumped into Blake." Los Angeles Daily News

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins was fined $25,000 by the NBA for publicly criticizing officials after Thursday night's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Cousins tussled with All-Star power forward Blake Griffin numerous times before fouling out late in the Clippers' 93-85 victory at Power Balance Pavilion. Sacramento Bee

Gortat missed a follow. Nash missed successive shots. It was a car wreck in three minutes of slow motion that they might be replaying in their heads in three weeks if they miss the playoffs. Denver cinched the season series in case the teams tie. Utah (29-27) won Friday night to move back ahead of Phoenix. "We did everything we needed to do to be in a position to win and then had very poor execution for the last three or four minutes of the game," Gentry said. "We've got to get the ball in the basket and come back and take away some of the easy stuff." Arizona Republic

Gilbert Arenas is averaging a microscopic 4.3 points, but he seems happier than most guys who are putting up 20 a night. At Friday morning’s shootaround at AmericanAirlines Arena, the guard was all smiles as his Memphis Grizzlies prepared to face the Miami Heat. And why not? What he calls the worst period of his life is over. “I call them the dark years,’’ Arenas says of the period between December 2009 and December 2011. “What’s funny is I don’t remember them. When people ask me about those years, I just don’t remember. I guess I just subconsciously blanked them all out. … I’m just trying to have fun now.’’ FOXSports Florida

“When I got amnestied, I thought that was the best thing that happened to me because I didn’t have the pressure anymore,’’ said Arenas, who averaged 8.0 points in 49 games for the Magic last season after he had begun the year with Washington before being traded. “I didn’t have the media scrutiny anymore. I was just free. I was just a normal person again.’’ Well, he didn’t exactly live the life of a typical working stiff. Arenas embarked upon what he called an “extended vacation.’’ FOXSports Florida

“Hey, when it was supposed to have been both of us going through the same thing, I didn’t hear his name,’’ Arenas said of Crittenton. “It was Gilbert and a teammate. Now, everyone finds out who was the real problem. Hopefully, he gets through it, and God bless him. But that’s none of my concern. “Like people say, the light eventually turns on the good one. At first, I was supposed to have been the bad seed, but I’m back doing something I love and that’s all I can think about. I can’t think about what he’s going through. He has his own problems and, hopefully, I just wish him the best.’’ FOXSports Florida

“It was a collective effort,” King said. “I talked to [agent] Arn Tellem in L.A. and we decided I didn’t want to make the decision for Brook because of him being a free agent,” King said. “But everybody thought it best for [him] not to risk anything the rest of this year. “He understands that the future is more important. He’d like to play. But he knows there is a lot more basketball down the road,” said King, who envisions a solid future — whether it’s Howard or Lopez in the middle. “We’re headed in the right direction,” King said enthusiastically. New York Post

Wilson Chandler says he's not worried, and yet he has a groin injury that has been slow to heal. Both he and the Nuggets doctors and trainers want to know why. It led to an MRI on Friday afternoon to get a better idea of the extent of the damage, because Chandler said "it kind of got a little worse. Make sure it's nothing too serious." Chandler missed his third straight game because of the injury, suffered March 30 at Charlotte. According to Nuggets coach George Karl, Chandler's MRI on Friday was the second one the forward has had since the injury. Denver Post

Magic SF Hedo Turkoglu will have surgery Saturday to repair a fracture or fractures in his right cheekbone and will be out at least three weeks, said GM Otis Smith. Turkoglu told the Sentinel after Friday’s practice that he might need the surgery. The Magic face the Sixers in Philadelphia on Saturday night. He said after practice that he was planning to see a doctor to outline a recovery plan. “I might have to have surgery – I don’t know. There’s some fractures,” Turkoglu said. “I didn’t think it would be this bad.” Orlando Sentinel

Here's what Isiah Thomas told me before the season about the job he thought he had done at Florida International: "I know today from where we started the program it's 100 times better than when I got the job.'' Let's just say those at FIU didn't agree. Sulia

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