HoopsHype rumors

April 25, 2012 | 07:47 PM ET Update

Metta World Peace insisted Wednesday he did not "lose it" when he elbowed James Harden of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the head giving him a concussion during the Lakers' double-overtime victory Sunday afternoon at Staples Center. World Peace also said he reached out to Harden through a third party and was happy to learn he was OK. Harden couldn't continue in Sunday's game and did not play in the Thunder's contest Tuesday against the Sacramento Kings. "We're probably going to see each other in the playoffs, potentially, so I didn't want to do any direct calls. Stay competitive," World Peace said after the Lakers' practice. "Through a friend, they said he was doing OK. ... "It was a brutal elbow. When I seen it (on a replay), I was, like, ugh, immediately." Los Angeles Daily News

"I should say what's on my mind, but I don't want to make any excuses right now," he said. "It's no time for excuses. If I start talking about that, I'm going to open myself up to excuses. It's hard for me to speak about the (number of) games (of the ban)." He went on to describe what happened on the play before he struck Harden. "I was just way too emotional," he said. "There was a lot of passion involved, but it was erratic. It was way too much. Definitely wasn't meant to hit him how I hit him. That's the best way I could describe those sequence of plays and that erratic passion. ... Los Angeles Daily News

Rick Carlisle didn't have too much to say about the seven-game suspension the NBA gave Los Angeles Laker forward Metta World Peace for violently elbowing Oklahoma City guard James Harden in the head this past Sunday, causing Harden to suffer a concussion. "I don't really have a comment about it,'' Carlisle said after today's practice. "The league took a hard look at it and did what they thought was right. "That's what they did and that's what it's going to be.'' Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Kobe Bryant still believes the Lakers will be the team to lift the Larry O'Brien Trophy come June. "I expect to win it, absolutely," Bryant told 710 ESPN's "Max & Marcellus Show" on Wednesday. "I think the thing that's our biggest strength is our versatility and our size. (Ramon) Sessions has added another dimension to our team in terms of speed and point guard that can score the ball. Our bench has been playing extremely well. We've been shooting the ball extremely well, and our biggest key is our perimeter shooting, limiting our turnovers, and keeping the game at our pace. If we can do those things in the postseason, I like our chances." ESPN.com

Warriors forward David Lee will surgery to repair a torn abdominal muscle in Philadelphia, according to team sources. Lee, who missed the last seven games with a strained groin and a stress reaction, went to visit specialist Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia to have his groin examined. The result is he’ll need surgery to repair the damage. Contra Costa Times

Thunder guard James Harden has been cleared to play after recovering from the concussion he suffered when the Los Angeles Lakers' Metta World Peace elbowed him in the back of the head. Coach Scott Brooks said before Oklahoma City's game on Wednesday night that Harden passed the league-mandated tests to be medically cleared but was still being held out against Denver as a precaution. Brooks says Harden "should be fine'' to participate in the Thunder's practice sessions leading up to the playoffs this weekend. SI.com

Appearing on the “Dan Patrick Show” on Wednesday, Brown said Michael Jordan was very disconnected as owner of the Bobcats and surrounded himself with sycophants. “I love the guy, but he’s around people that don’t have a clue,” Brown said. “And, they won’t challenge him. “It was almost like there were spies wondering what you were doing and getting back to him. ... I do see a passion. I think he’s just hurt right now.” Chicago Sun-Times

It's been a rough season for Washington Wizards forward Andray Blatche: he called out his coaching staff and teammates after the first game of the season, talked about accountability at a team meeting two weeks later with no sense of irony, was made to sit out to "get in shape" after returning from injury (he hasn't played at all, of course), and capped everything by understanding it was his fault things went so poorly. So how is he choosing to cap off such a terrible season? By throwing a party on Thursday night, of course! Via the always-awesome DC Sports Bog, check out the full flyer for the soiree at Eden, one of only four clubs in the D.C. area whose website automatically plays an Enrique Iglesias song, check out the full flyer of details after the jump. Yahoo! Sports

Yesterday, the Nets teased the team's new logo and colors for their Brooklyn move: black, and something shield-shaped. Today, thanks to something less than total secrecy, we get a first look at a very plausible candidate for the logo. The photo was posted on Twitter by some guy who's doing IT work at the Barclays Center, and Tweeting photos as he goes. We won't link because we don't want him to get fired (he'll probably get fired anyway), but there's no reason to think that logo mounted on an office wall isn't the real thing. Ignore the blue tape. Deadspin.com

Bryant and Gasol bid against each other for an ownership stake in a 4-year-old gelding named Siempre Mio as part of a Lakers Foundation fundraiser at Riviera Country Club on Tuesday night. Santa Anita Park chief executive officer Mark Verge donated a 25% stake in the gelding along with a day at the races as part of a live auction. "Pao Gasol bid first, but then he and Kobe got into a little bit of a bidding war. Kobe won the bidding at $8,000," Doug O'Neill, who trains the gelding, said Wednesday. Verge then offered Gasol a chance to buy a 25% interest in the horse in exchange for a donation to the Lakers Foundation. Part of the deal was that the new owners pay no expenses in the horse's care and training. USA Today

Jayson Williams was released from Rikers Island a little more than a week ago, and in his first interview outside of jail, he said the solidarity helped straighten out a life in ruins. "That's what prison did for me, it isolated me, you know, it polished me up like a stone," Williams told FOX 5 in an interview that's airing on Thursday. "(Jail) sent me back out because I'm going to tell you something, if it wasn't for prison, I was in a bad way." Newark Star-Ledger

Williams broaches the subject of alcoholism, which he targets as the root of many of his off-the court issues. "Alcohol is the cause of all my problems," he said. "If I had to think of what I would do different in my whole career, it's that I never would have picked up a beer, bottle of vodka. That definitely changed my life. That is an Achilles' heel for me." Newark Star-Ledger

April 25, 2012 | 06:02 PM ET Update

On the weekend of the 2009 All-Star Game in Phoenix, Pat Garrity, the treasurer of the National Basketball Players Association, walked into a conference room inside the Sheraton Phoenix determined to make one final stand in his decade of service to the union. Garrity had warned peers and NBPA executive director Billy Hunter prior to the '09 executive committee meeting that he planned to challenge Hunter on business practices, and several players purposely steered clear of the confrontational scene. In the aftermath of the U.S. banking crisis in 2008, Garrity had grown increasingly suspicious of an investment bank project that Hunter had been pitching to the executive committee and player representatives. For Garrity and some peers in the NBPA, the investment made no sense. Yahoo! Sports

Hunter had sought a $7 million to $9 million investment from the union into Interstate Net Bank of Cherry Hill, N.J., a financial institution that federal and state banking regulators had slapped with debilitating "cease-and-desist" orders, sources said. Garrity discovered information online that left him feeling obligated to confront Billy Hunter: Hunter's son, Todd, had a seat on the board of directors of Interstate Net Bank. Yahoo! Sports

When reached by phone, Garrity confirmed the description of events that sources provided Yahoo! Sports. He declined to further comment. Hunter declined comment for this story through a union spokesman. Yahoo! Sports

At the meeting, Hunter left the talking to longtime ally and NBPA chief counsel, Gary Hall, and Hall wasn't offering answers. Garrity and Hall screamed back and forth, and Garrity's questions weren't addressed, witnesses said. Finally, witnesses said, Hall – who died on May 11, 2011 – told Garrity that he was a retired player, no longer welcome on the executive committee, and that security would be called to remove him unless he left on his own. With executive committee members Keyon Dooling and Adonal Foyle appearing uncomfortable – and NBPA president Derek Fisher refusing to use his authority to demand Garrity be allowed to speak over Hall's yelling – Garrity left the room, left the NBPA and never returned again. Fisher declined comment. Yahoo! Sports

The pursuit of the $7 million to $9 million bank investment didn't end in the February 2009 meeting when Garrity raised questions with Derek Fisher, union lawyers and several members of the executive committee in the room. Despite ISN Bank officials sending dire shareholder letters over these same months, Hunter stayed on course seeking an investment from the NBPA. Four months after Garrity confronted Hunter, the push for investment into the failing ISN Bank was still alive at an NBPA meeting in Las Vegas in late June 2009, sources said. The pursuit of ISN Bank eventually ended as ISN spiraled beyond revival in early 2010, sources said. The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance closed the bank in September 2010. The FDIC bailout of Interstate Net Bank cost taxpayers $23.9 million. Yahoo! Sports

When asked if Alexis Hunter's relationship with her father, Billy Hunter, had anything to do with her hiring or Steptoe securing the NBPA's business, Katz declined comment. Asked whether the union's engagement of the firm that employed Hunter's daughter might represent a conflict of interest, Katz said: "I don’t see how. … I think the question is answered by saying the lawyers the union hired were very well- qualified to practice in this area. Between myself and Steve Wheeless [we've been practicing in this area] for over 60 years. "So it's not as if we got the business as a gift." Yahoo! Sports

As NBA players lost $400 million in salary during last summer's lockout – and $3 billion over the course of the new 10-year collective bargaining agreement – Billy Hunter, his family and the entities that employed them made approximately $3,430,953 from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011, according to labor filings. Yahoo! Sports

The San Antonio Spurs have had an extra spot on their roster for the last couple of weeks and, heading into their final two games of the regular season, they've finally decided to use it. The Spurs, owners of the NBA Development League's Austin Toros, have decided to sign Derrick Byars (on his 28th birthday, no less). Ridiculous Upside

April 25, 2012 | 02:36 PM ET Update

Nash wants to play in the NBA three more years and win more than he has in the past two years. That combination for a franchise in transition could make goodbyes in order tonight, just in case this is the last night to share in the remnants of the fun-and-gun. “I’ll start to kind of put together a picture of what opportunities will be out there and what situations would fit me well and what situations I would add a lot to,” Nash said. “Phoenix would be one of those for sure. I think I’ll take the opportunity to evaluate whatever opportunities are out there and take my time.” Arizona Republic

Nash said he might not even allow himself to think about the possible finality of it as he goes through his day. He is booked up as it is with off-court duties like picking up his twin daughters from school and franchise obligations like taking that team picture that kept getting put off. “It deserves a lot of thought,” Nash said. “It would be an important moment if I don’t play for the Suns again. It could be a big moment.” Arizona Republic

Love said he will lobby management to be "aggressive" in adding veterans. "I think we just need to make some moves," he said. Adelman said he believes the team's young, vibrant nucleus will attract free agents. "When you look at Kevin and you look at Ricky and the style that we're going to play, it's going to be good," Adelman said. "I think people will look at it. We have some pieces people would like to play with. I mean, this team was pretty good not long ago and let's face it, guys like to get paid. So if you can pay 'em and you have some people around? There are some positives here." Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“It’s absolutely wrong that I don’t want guys to challenge me. And the people who say that aren’t in the room,’’ Jordan told the Observer. “The idea that people can’t do that is just wrong. Curtis (Polk, team vice chairman) has worked with me for over 20 years and he’s never had a problem telling me, ‘no.’ Rod (Higgins, president of basketball operations) has no problem telling me no. Fred (Whitfield, team president) has no problem telling me ‘no.’ And Rich (Cho, the team’s general manager) is about as direct and candid a person as you’ll ever meet.’’ Charlotte Observer

“This was going to be a trying year – we knew that,” Jordan said. “But did we want to chase the most Ping-Pong balls (in the May 30 draft lottery)? No way.’’ “Ever since I’ve owned the team (buying control from Bob Johnson in March 2010), I think we’ve made some very positive moves on the business side. We had to make a difficult decision to turn over the (basketball) talent. “This year the talent we had didn’t respond, but that doesn’t cause me to turn my back on the plan.’’ Charlotte Observer

Jordan said he didn’t expect such harsh criticism from Brown, a fellow former North Carolina player, but it also didn’t “surprise’’ him after Jordan let Brown go in December of 2010. “I imagine he was pretty upset we chose to change directions,’’ Jordan said of Brown, a Hall of Fame coach who is known to be high-maintenance with his front office. As long-time NBA executive Donnie Walsh used to say of close friend Brown, he’s not happy unless he’s unhappy. Brown suggested on the Dan Patrick show that Jordan placed “spies’’ in the basketball operation “wondering what we were doing and getting back to him.’’ “I’m pretty sure he’s talking about Rod and (head athletic trainer) Steve Stricker, and I don’t think that’s an accurate description of either one of them,’’ Jordan said. Charlotte Observer

Etan Thomas: It looks like it was just a power play which has backfired and now the situation between the two of you appears to be beyond fixable. If you would've presented a reason for suspicion, maybe you could have convinced the majority of the executive committee to support you, but without proof, you had nothing. So, when it came to vote, which is the way we make decisions, you lost 0-8. I wish you two could have gone into a room, aired out whatever it is that you two needed to air out and moved on. But that didn't happen, and honestly in that, I think both of you are at fault. I don't know all of the details of your issues with each other, and really, I don't want to know. It's not my business. But as you know Derek, there are rules to every game, in every organization, and when you break those rules, there are consequences. And as a result of your actions the board has voted unanimously and I would implore you to simply bow out gracefully. Huffington Post

April 25, 2012 | 12:36 PM ET Update

On the night last June when the Mavericks beat the Heat in Miami for the NBA championship, James drove to his house in Coconut Grove and did not come out for two weeks. "I couldn't watch TV because every channel -- doesn't matter if it was the Cartoon Channel -- was talking about me and the Heat," James says. "On the Cooking Channel it was like, 'So we're going to make a turkey burger gourmet today, and LeBron James failed!'" He wanted to listen to music, but hip-hop didn't feel appropriate, so he queued up the old-school playlist on his iPod and set it in the dock in his bedroom. He wallowed to the strains of Barry White, Curtis Mayfield and Bobby Womack. Every once in a while his mother, Gloria James, or his longtime girlfriend, Savannah Brinson, ducked in for a pep talk. "I didn't hear what they wanted to say," James says. "I didn't care what they were talking about." SI.com

"I lost touch with who I was as a basketball player and a person," James says. "I got caught up in everything that was going on around me, and I felt like I had to prove something to people, and I don't know why. Everything was tight, stressed." In Cleveland, where he played seven seasons, James had the loudest laugh in the locker room. He used to bellow "Waffles!" from the back of the bus when he was hungry. He amused himself by simply transposing someone's initials. He was JeBron Lames. But in Miami, he adopted what he calls "the villain mind-set," stacking his anger on top of everyone else's. He skulked across the court, stone-faced, a glower replacing the familiar grin. Former Cavaliers coaches watched him on TV and flashed back to Game 1 of the 2007 NBA Finals in San Antonio, when they saw him seething during introductions. "That's not good," they told one another. The Spurs swept, and James sputtered for much of the series. Jubilance has always been a staple of his game. SI.com

"The greats always stay uncomfortable," says Spoelstra. "LeBron is no different. He came back looking like a new player in terms of his offensive skill set." James traditionally shot three-pointers with the guards after practice. Suddenly, he was bodying up with the centers. "If I'm going to work more in the post, I have to give up something," James says. "I had to decide, Is it the mid-range? Is it the fadeaway? To be more efficient, it had to be the three, because I'm more effective in the paint." James hung around AmericanAirlines Arena for hours with assistant David Fizdale, honing two basic power moves on either block: one to the middle and one to the baseline. When a second defender arrives, he sidearms the ball to the open man, quick as a shortstop turning a double play. "Everything we did was about being good at less, great at more," Fizdale says. They even tinkered with James's shot, noticing too many instances when he fell away from the basket. He repeated hundreds of open and pull-up jumpers with his chest squarely over his feet. SI.com

In Miami, teammates have taken on even greater significance for James. "In the crazy world he lives in, this is really the only bastion of normalcy he gets," says Battier of the Heat locker room. "In here we bust his balls and talk about his beard and his chin and all that stuff. But we say it out of love while everyone else says it out of spite. He knows how much he means to us, and he takes that responsibility very seriously -- maybe too seriously." In Utah in March, James scored 35 points with 10 rebounds and six assists, but instead of launching the game-winner, he passed to an open Udonis Haslem, who missed. In the All-Star Game he scored 36 points, but when Bryant challenged him to take a potential game-winning shot, he tried to dish to an open Dwyane Wade; the pass was stolen. SI.com

James is emerging from the funnel cloud that trapped him for much of the past two years. He already admitted that he regrets the television show announcing his departure from Cleveland ("I would change that," he said) and speculated about an eventual return. He made a rare political statement after the shooting of Trayvon Martin, organizing a picture with his teammates in the lobby of a Detroit hotel, all of them draped in hooded sweatshirts. And he made an impromptu statement in the middle of the night at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, when several servicemen approached for a picture with the Heat, and the team's security detail shooed them away. "Hey, hey," James said, according to The Oklahoman. "Any of these military guys can take a picture with us." He ordered his teammates, some of whom were half asleep, to hit their feet. "I'm not perfect," James says. "I know that. I'm just trying to go in the right direction." SI.com

James says he has no relationship with his father and no NBA mentor, either. He leans on a rapper, Jay-Z, to provide the perspective he sometimes loses. "He grew up in the inner city, in [Brooklyn's] Marcy projects, hearing, 'You'll be a statistic, you'll never make it out,'" James says. "Now we're sitting here in New Jersey, and he owns part of the [Nets]. He tells me, 'Remember where you came from, what got you here and why you love this game so much.'" He can watch the waves or ride the bike, but in the end his sanctuary remains the same. "Tomorrow, one o'clock, basketball court," James says. "That's my peace. That's my home away from home. That's what I know I can do. For that moment in time I don't have to answer any questions. I'm just there with my teammates and my coaches, playing for the people. That's where I can let everything else go." SI.com

Chris Broussard: Thomas Robinson has signed with agent Tony Dutt and Rivals Sports Group, sources say. Robinson will be top 5 pick, perhaps even 2nd Twitter

Rival Sports Group, an emerging firm in the sports industry, signs Thomas Robinson, former Kansas University star power forward. Robinson, a unanimous first team All American, is expected to be a top three pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. "Coach Self and the entire coaching staff along with Kansas University have done an excellent job in making Thomas the most NBA ready player in the draft and we are excited to be a big part of this process," says Jason Martin, Rival Co-Founder. Sys-Con

Another Galatasaray's player will enter 2012 NBA Draft. It is 20-year-old big guy Sertac Sanli (212-F/C-91, agency: Beo Basket). Yesterday, it was announced also that Furkan Aldemir (207-F-91, agency: Beo Basket) declared for the Draft. Sanli played four Euroleague games with Galatasaray this season and he also appeared four times in TBL. Eurobasket.com

Furkan Aldemir, as his agent Misko Raznatovic informed, made himself eligible for the 2012 NBA draft. The Turkish big man born in 1991 is playing with Galatasaray averaging 8ppg and 6.8rpg in TBL. In Euroleague Aldemir scored 6.5ppg with 4.9rpg in the 18 games played. Sportando

Brown says it's not a lack of knowledge of the game that hurts Jordan. "When I was able to visit with him and pick his brain, he knows, but he's got people around him that just make you sick," Brown said to Patrick. "And it was not comfortable. It was almost like there were spies wondering what you were doing and getting back to him. I should have spent more time face to face with Michael because I do see the passion. I think he's hurt right now. "We all make bad decisions. This draft thing is not a perfect science, but when I talk to him about players, you know strengths and weaknesses, what we need to do to be successful, he's right on point. But he has all these other people that will get in the way, and you can't do it like that." ESPN.com

Well, wonder no more: The former Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic and New York Knicks guard is now the impresario behind fledgling hip-hop label Mazerati Music, which is sort of like Maybach Music except with fewer rappers you've heard of (READ: probably no rappers you've heard of). He's even spitting some himself, as evidenced by the official video for his new cut, "Finer Things." The song itself is very perfectly Steve Francis, in that it is pretty soundly stuck in the mid-2000s. Yahoo! Sports

April 25, 2012 | 10:31 AM ET Update

Before his promotion was announced, Carmelo Anthony confirmed at practice that the Knicks’ interim head coach, Mike Woodson, has his support beyond this season. Anthony cited Woodson for his hard-nosed coaching style and the accountability that he demands from his players. Asked if he would take that message to Knicks management, Anthony responded, “I’m pretty sure they’re hearing it right now.” Woodson said: “Absolutely, I would love to come back. I think when you’ve been given an opportunity to start something, you’d love to finish it, but again, that’s not my call. I think when that time comes, I’ll probably have time to have an opportunity to sit down and talk to Mr. Dolan and management about it and hopefully it will work in my favor.” New York Times

Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin’s work is drawing notice. Suns coach Alvin Gentry said he spoke pregame with Corbin, and the Phoenix head man’s impressed with what Utah’s second-year coach has pulled off during a tough lockout season. Entering Tuesday, the Jazz had gone 19-12 since Feb. 28, weathering the loss of several key role players. "He did a great job of turning this thing [around] and winning games and getting them in a situation where they’ve got a chance to make the playoffs just like we do," Gentry said. Salt Lake Tribune

Another former Buck, Jerry Stackhouse, may be on the brink of wrapping up his fine 16-year pro career to pursue a career in coaching, either in the pros or college. Stackhouse, who is playing for Atlanta, has had the distinction of playing for several coaching greats, including Dean Smith, Larry Brown, Rick Carlisle, Doug Collins and Don Nelson. “I’m trying to transition into the next phase of my career,” Stackhouse said before a recent Bucks’ game at the Bradley Center. “I definitely want to be a head coach some day and I’m willing to pay my dues to make it happen.” Racine Journal-Times

But Udrih fully realizes his market value has taken a major hit and that he wouldn’t come anywhere close to making $7 million as an unrestricted free agent this summer. As such, Udrih, the Bucks’ second-highest paid player, said he will pick up the player option for next season. Racine Journal-Times

Sasa Vujacic, in an interview with Kosarka.si, said that his desire is to return to the NBA next season. The Slovenian is now playing in Turkey with Anadolu Efes Istanbul with whom he penned a deal until the end of the season. 'I am happy and satisfied of my experience in Turkey, but my wish is to go back to the NBA next season' said Vujacic to Kosarka.si. According to the Slovenian site, Vujacic has already drawn interest from a few NBA teams. Sportando

Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace was suspended seven games by the NBA on Tuesday for elbowing James Harden, meaning he could miss at least six playoff games. World Peace was ejected from Sunday's game against Oklahoma City for throwing an elbow that struck Harden in the back of the head, giving him a concussion. NBA.com

World Peace will miss the Lakers’ regular-season finale Thursday at Sacramento and their first six playoff games, the NBA announced Tuesday. He will also forfeit $347,849 in salary. If the Lakers are eliminated from the playoffs in under six games, World Peace will sit the remaining part of his suspension at the start of next season. Los Angeles Times

Adelman said Tuesday that he did not have a problem with Barea's comments that some Timberwolves didn't care enough after a recent loss. In fact, the coach said he supported players making their feelings known when they see something they don't like. "You have to really feel the hurt when you lose games after the game is over," said Adelman, whose team has lost 12 of 13 as it limps to the finish. "When you lose a game like we did on Sunday, I think the frustration just took over with him. It certainly did with me, too." Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Without naming names, Barea blistered some teammates, saying there weren't enough players in the locker room who cared about the outcomes of games. "We've got problems here," Barea said after playing all 48 minutes. "We've got a lot of guys that don't care. ... We're just going to keep getting L's until we get players here that care." Several teammates said they didn't agree with Barea's assessment and that they thought it was a collective loss. Love did not play in the game, but did say Tuesday that he thought most of the players cared about the product they were putting on the floor. "Obviously there was some air taken out from underneath us, but I think guys do care," Love said. "I just think J.J. was upset. A guy coming from a championship team, he kind of saw it a little different the past few years at the end of the season." Minneapolis Star-Tribune

The actual averages are 27.97 points for Durant to Bryant's 27.86 points. Bryant has the advantage of taking the floor last in a Thursday finale at Sacramento, while Durant and the Thunder close the season at home against Denver on Wednesday. But if Durant scores less than 30, Bryant will have to top Durant’s output by at least seven points. If Durant posts more than 30, Bryant must outscore Durant by at least six. The necessary differential would narrow more the more each player scores. The discrepancy is caused by Bryant playing seven fewer games. The scoring title is determined by scoring average. “Kobe's an unbelievable scorer, man, and he's having a great season as well,” Durant said. “If it happens, then it's cool. If not, then I'm not worried about it. I'm just going to go out there and play my game. I'm not going to force anything just so I can score more points than Kobe.” Oklahoman

"(Howard) showed significant improvement from his preoperative condition that necessitated mandatory spine surgery," Dr. Robert Watkins said in a statement released on Tuesday outlining Howard's progress since undergoing surgery on Friday to repair a herniated disk. "While it is anticipated that Dwight will not be able to participate in the Olympics," Watkins said, "I am very optimistic that he will be able to play next season." ESPN.com

Howard is no longer hospitalized but Watkins has "advised Dwight not to travel and to undergo rehabilitation treatment for the next three weeks in Los Angeles." Howard had been complaining of a sore back since early March and Watkins discovered the herniated disk while examining Howard on April 13. ESPN.com

To those people who think James Harden‘s injury is minor considering Oklahoma City announced he is “day-to-day,” hear the words of Kobe Bryant. “It’s a bear, man,” Bryant said of suffering a concussion. “You gotta pretty much stay in hibernation. Lights off. TV off. It’s crazy.” Orange County Register

When you talk about consummate professionals, be sure to include Luc Mbah a Moute in the discussion. The Bucks forward has virtually played the entire season on one leg because of a bum right knee. Racine Journal-Times

Following the Celtics win against the Miami Heat on Tuesday, Celtics center Greg Stiemsma, who did not play, was undecided on whether or not he will play on Thursday in the regular season finale against the Milwaukee Bucks. His main priority before the playoffs is resting his right foot, in which he has plantar fasciitis. “We’ll see on Thursday. I haven’t decided yet,” he told CSNNE.com. “I could have played tonight, but I was taking advantage of a little opportunity to get some rest.” CSNNE.com

Dominique Ferguson felt he had no option but to declare for the NBA Draft. The talented 6-foot-9 sophomore forward, who went to Florida International due to the presence of head coach Isiah Thomas, told CBSSports.com that he is headed to the pros after not being allowed to play at another Division 1 school. "They won't give me my release and let me play anywhere else," Ferguson told CBSSports.com. "They give schools too much power and treat us like they own us." CBSSports.com

That the Warriors replaced general manager Larry Riley with protege Bob Myers comes as no shock. The big surprise is the timing. Why now? According to multiple team sources, a few factors came into play. The coming draft, and all the ensuing prep work. The pending free agent season, which kicks off July 1, and the Warriors’ need to woo someone though armed with nothing more than a mid-level. Contra Costa Times

Q: Joe, why make the move now? -LACOB: You come towardss the end of the year, you start to reflect and you say, ‘OK, where are we? What are we going to be going forward?’ And it just became apparent to me and the others that I confide in that Bob was ready to do the job. I didn’t know, we didn’t know when we hired Bob. You never know for sure… until you’ve worked with someone, you never really know. Working with Bob, he’s outstanding. He has all the capabilities to do this and be really, really good at it. We just decided that rather than wait another year or two, which was sort of the original plan, we were going to go ahead and make the move now and give Bob the opportunity to continue to prove himself and give him the authority he needs to go forward and do the job. San Jose Mercury-News

But as we approach awards season in the NBA, it's time to revisit that trade and the other moves Olshey made this year that have completely revamped the team's roster and culture. "Most people don't realize just how difficult it is to acquire a franchise player through a trade," Clippers president Andy Roeser told ESPNLosAngeles.com. "Neil was able to do that and set us on our way to where we are now. "There's several guys who stand out this year. David Morway in Indiana has done a nice job putting that team together. But I think we did a nice job upgrading our team. And it goes beyond just the Chris Paul trade. Neil put together an entire roster virtually overnight. I can't think of anyone more deserving." ESPN.com

Jordan's struggles in the front office aren't unique. He joins a long list of ex-NBA superstars who were somewhat less-stellar executives. The Wall Street Journal examined the careers of 10 NBA Hall of Famers who went on to careers in management, ranking them by their career win percentages. Only three have cumulative records above .500 in their management roles. Jerry West leads the pack with a .629 winning percentage. He won four championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. Joe Dumars, a former Detroit Pistons player, led the team to a title from the front office in 2004. Wall Street Journal

After that, it gets ugly. For as bad as Jordan's teams have performed (their total winning percentage is .369), he's actually only third from the bottom of our list. Elgin Baylor was the suit in charge of the Los Angeles Clippers for 22 years, a period in which he compiled a .349 win percentage. During his tenure, the Clippers won just one playoff series. As for the absolute worst: that honor belongs to Isiah Thomas, who worked in the front offices of the Raptors and the Knicks. He left the Raptors after clashing with management, then flamed out as an executive (and eventually head coach) of the Knicks. His struggles recently followed him to the college ranks, where Florida International fired him as its head basketball coach earlier this month after three seasons. Wall Street Journal

Nearly two weeks ago, NBA Commissioner David Stern said the deal for a downtown Sacramento ESC was off after a tentative deal between the league, the city of Sacramento and the Sacramento Kings fell through because of disagreements over the term sheet. Johnson met with the Maloofs later that day, but it was clear the arena deal brokered several weeks earlier was dead. "You can't leave any stone unturned at the end of the day," Johnson said. "The city's core principles aren't changing. Is there harm in having one more conversation and maybe get a deal?" news10.net

While the memo says the executive committee became "increasingly concerned" with Fisher's leadership over the past few months, the division between Fisher and the other eight members of the committee came to a head last week when Fisher called for an independent audit of the Union's financial practices without conducting a committee vote and without the committee's permission. The memo says Fisher refused to participate in a conference call last Tuesday that the committee organized for Fisher, Hunter and the committee members to discuss Fisher's concerns. It says Fisher instead held a separate conference call at the same time with a law firm and attempted to persuade committee members to leave their call to join his. James Jones was the only committee member to do so. ESPN.com

Fisher is standing firm, leaving a vast rift that is consuming the union’s attention just as the N.B.A. is wrapping up a surprisingly successful regular season after the 149-day lockout. “I think the relationship has suffered seriously, suffered a severe injury,” Hunter, referring to himself and Fisher, said in an interview. “And the question is whether or not we’ve suffered irreparable damage. And it may very well be that that’s the case. “I’m sure he doesn’t trust me,” Hunter continued, adding, “I don’t want to be in a situation where I got to look over my back every five minutes.” New York Times

Hunter also defended himself against charges of nepotism stemming from the union’s employment of his daughter and daughter-in-law, and of two outside firms that employ his son and another daughter. Each hiring was vetted and approved by the executive committee, he said. “Let me say this to you: My children are highly credentialed,” Hunter said. “In many instances, they’re being paid at or below the market.” New York Times

“My kids have been vetted; the players have seen them,” Hunter said, adding, “They’re probably more competent than most of the people on my staff.” Roger Mason Jr., a union vice president, said that he was aware of the family connections but that “I never paid much mind to it, to be honest with you.” New York Times

The Taiwanese animation studio NMA is famous for their off-kilter representations of world news. We've featured them on BDL several times, most notably during the lockout. No matter the issue, they bring their audience the news in ways they'd never previously imagined. Unless you haven't paid attention to the NBA for several days, you probably know that Metta World Peace's elbowing of James Harden and subsequent seven-game suspension have dominated the news cycle. So NMA put together a clip, and it's well worth your time. In case you can't watch at work, or you just like it when writers explain everything that happens in a video, join us for a synopsis after the jump. Yahoo! Sports

Scottie Pippen joined Bo Jackson and his Bo Bikes Bama effort on Tuesday in Alabama, embarking on a 300-mile bike ride through the state to raise funds for victims of last April’s destructive tornados. The participants are riding their bikes along the same path that the tornados took last year. “I’ve known Bo over the years, as we have both been part of the Nike family for a long time,” said Pippen of Jackson. “So I was excited to get involved in a great cause and it is a lot of fun for us all to be on the bikes.” NBA.com

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