HoopsHype rumors

May 17, 2012 | 10:07 PM ET Update

I get it, Lance Stephenson. It's the heat of the moment and the Miami Heat aren't looking so hot right now. The game was ratcheted up a notch when Danny Granger and LeBron James went at it, and both sides are a little testy. The Heat, frankly, look like a mess. But do not do this. The "this" is making a choking symbol to taunt the Heat. It's Game 3. Now is not the time to pull this, especially when it'll get passed around. SB Nation

One of the changes in the Heat locker room in recent weeks? Music. Loud music. James generally controls the play list, which means it's always rap. Thursday, players were rhyming along to Rich Ross and Kanye West - including verses that name James and Dwyane Wade - and Wade was translating Jay-Z lyrics for Mike Miller. Miller, a South Dakota native, prefers country. Heat rookie guard Norris Cole had more than 30 family members and friends in attendance, after they made the short drive from his Dayton, Ohio, hometown. Palm Beach Post

Blake’s wife, Kristen, posted to her Twitter account one message that said, in part: “I hope your family gets murdered.” “It’s pretty disappointing,” Steve Blake said Thursday. “There’s a lot of hateful people out there.” Orange County Register

Bulls guard C.J. Watson revealed via Twitter message that he had a surgical procedure done on his foot Thursday. Here's the message, with puncutation added, "Just had successful surgery by @weilforfeet, best in the business. Rest up, then back to getting better this summer and get ready for next year." Arlington Heights Daily Herald

The support of Hawks players helped Larry Drew get the job as head coach in 2010. As Drew awaits word from the team if it will pick up his contract option for next season, he cites his relationship with players as his strong suit. “That’s something I take a lot of pride in and spent a lot of time talking about and trying to work on,” he said. “Player relationships are so important on this level, how you deal with your best player all the way down to the guy who might not even dress out during games. I thought I did a good job with that. I thought my staff did a good job with that.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Ricky Rubio signed with the adidas shoe company last week with contract terms that will likely make him the brand's third-highest compensated NBA player, trailing only Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard in that department. The deal apparently hasn't gone into full effect for the Spanish playmaker and future savior of the Minnesota Timberwolves, however. Or, if it has, Rubio recently violated a cardinal sin by wearing a shirt sporting the Nike logo around the Twin Cities. SB Nation

Charlotte's official Facebook page put up a poll, which could have been fun. It was an inane question, sure—"what pick will the Bobcats get in the lottery"—but it could have been a window into the fanbase's level of pessimism. The Cats have the best odds, so anyone picking anything but "No. 1 overall" would be choosing gloomy fatalism over math. Here's where the Bobcats went wrong: they allowed write-in votes. So before the team took the poll down, the leader was indeed "No. 1," followed closely by "who cares we still suck," "No. 2," "Brian Scalabrine," and "Who cares? you will brake an other NBA loosing record." Deadspin.com

May 17, 2012 | 05:20 PM ET Update

"I had a great meeting with Andre Miller," Ujiri said. "With Andre's comments, he wants to be respected as a veteran, which we feel he has to be respected as a veteran. He even said to me that Ty (Lawson) helped him, because the minutes he played, he took care of his body, he didn't play as many minutes. I think Andre's looking forward to being on this team, I think he likes the role. I can't discuss contracts but it's stuff we're going to talk about and figure out." Denver Post

"Do we want Andre back? Yes," Ujiri said. "Collectively, the organization, ownerships, Coach Karl, teammates, we want Andre back, he was great for the team. Andre told me he wants to be in Denver. And all the contract stuff will take care of itself." Denver Post

Whether he meant to or not, Carlisle opened the door for speculation that the Mavs could be open to dealing Odom for a player of relevance. It would require packaging him with say, Shawn Marion ($8.6 million next season), for a high-dollar player another team wants to get out from under the contract, for example Pau Gasol in Los Angeles or Amare Stoudemire in New York. ESPN.com

No one understands the evolution of Bryant better than Derek Fisher, who came into the league with Bryant in 1996 and has had a front-row seat to his development ever since. No one today can match Bryant's intensity, his singular focus. That will to be great though, that's something that oozes from Durant's pores. SI.com

"I watched Kobe for years work to become one of the greatest of all-time," Fisher said. "I think Kevin (Durant) has the same love and passion for playing basketball. The process is happening, for sure. You can see he is understanding more of what it takes to be the leader of the team" SI.com

"I thought it was a great play, you know my answer," (LeBron) James said Thursday about (Steve) Blake's shot (from last night game against the Thunder). "The person that should be very happy is Russell (Westbrook), he (got) caught peeking in the paint and left a very good shooter open. Those are the same shots Derek Fisher has hit multiple times for the Lakers. If Steve Blake makes that shot, it's a whole different storyline." ESPN.com

With Chris Bosh sidelined by a strained abdominal muscle, (LeBron) James is playing more minutes at power forward, though he continues to start at small forward. He did good work defending Pacers power forward David West for stretches of Game 2. Miami Herald

“It’s a lot more taxing being in there with bigger guys,” James said. Defensively “is the biggest difference. When you’re on the perimeter, there’s more space. The interior is more cramped and physical. … But I’m ready for the challenge.” Miami Herald

The advantage of playing power forward is that “I can get more rebounds and start the break.” James said he has played more positions this season than any of his seven years in Cleveland. Miami Herald

Chris Tomasson: Miami never has beaten Indiana on the road in the playoffs. In their only previous meeting in 2004, Pacers went 3-0 at home. Twitter

The Spurs will be going into uncharted area — at least in the playoffs — when they face the Clippers three times in the next four nights. San Antonio Express-News

Chris Tomasson: Another San Antonio Spur is officially old. Tony Parker turns 30 today. Twitter

It's the second straight summer Watson has undergone a procedure to address plantar fasciitis. Watson had shock wave therapy performed, which is basically controlled blasts of sound waves to break up the damaged tissue. Chicago Tribune

Just like a lot of prospects in what is perceived as a deep draft, so much of Andre Drummond’s stock will be determined by how he fares in individual workouts. It’s pretty clear Kentucky forward Anthony Davis will go No. 1 — but who goes No. 2 remains up for grabs. FOXSportsOhio

“If Drummond impresses (during individual workouts), he’ll be that guy,” one scout said. “If he doesn’t, and just looks so-so, he could drop fast. There might not be a bigger unknown at the moment.” FOXSportsOhio

(Bulls draftee) Nikola Mirotic will be out for at least 10 days due to an ankle sprain. He will miss the quarter finals of the Liga Endesa Playoffs. Marca.com

Jorge Sierra: Wizards big man Nenê and Pacers guard Leandro Barbosa are among the players in Brazil's list for the Olympics. The Brazilian National Team did great at the FIBA Americas tournament without them last year and there was some backlash in the country against both Nenê and Barbosa, who passed on playing. In the end, pragmatism kicked in. Brazil needs to be at full force to compete for the medals. Sulia

Jorge Sierra: Former Bobcats scout Tim Shea tells HoopsHype he has not been named head coach of the Nigerian National Team. "I'm just on the coaching staff," Shea said. "Ayo Bakare is the official head coach. I'm very happy just to be on the staff. We go to China at the end of the month and then on to USA, Brazil and then Caracas for the pre-Olympic tournament with some great players and I'm very very happy to be part of this team and this country." Sulia

“Couldn’t you just move him to the back of the class?” said the red-headed 3-point shot ace. “Then nobody would see it; it wouldn’t be a distraction. Otherwise, the nicest thing a fan has ever done for me is ruined.” San Antonio Express-News

Saturday, five years after he was an NBA lottery pick, Jeff Green will graduate from Georgetown with a major in English and a minor in theology. He told the school’s athletic site that he was pushed to get his degree by his former Hoyas teammates, and that finishing school was a a “weight lifted off my shoulders.” Washington Post

Walter McCarty is singing a happy tune because despite being out of a hoops job, the former Kentucky star, NBA player and assistant coach said he's enjoying time alone with his music. Yahoo! Sports

"Basketball is still (what I love). I want to teach the game," McCarty said by phone earlier this week. "… I've always done music and been a fan of music. No matter what, it will always be a part of who I am and what I do." Yahoo! Sports

McCarty said he is planning to release a double-CD in October with new music that he has created during his time off from basketball packaged with "Emotionally," the last album he dropped in 2011. McCarty's first album, "Moment for Love," came out during his time with the Celtics. Yahoo! Sports

"Selling L.A." reality show viewers may wonder if any of the featured homes actually sell. Although perhaps not in time for the closing credits, some houses under consideration for the show do find a buyer outside the roving eye of the camera. One home that agent Rebekah Schwartz was promoting to HGTV for its 15 minutes of fame was the Marina del Rey pad that former Laker Lamar Odom rented a few years back. Listed at $1.995 million in January, it closed early this month at $1.825 million. The property previously sold in 2003 for $1.43 million. Los Angeles Times

Jon Brockman had kind of a rough third year in the NBA, you guys. The 24-year-old forward appeared in only 35 games for a Milwaukee Bucks team that missed the playoffs, averaging just under seven minutes a contest and taking a definitive step backward in his NBA career. After a season like that, sometimes you just need to push life's pause button, take a step back and give yourself some time to relax. Preferably by slipping into a wearable blanket with sleeves and legs, a.k.a. a Snuggie with legs, a.k.a. a Forever Lazy/Uni-Lazy/adult onesie, a.k.a., apparently, the Swagga Suit. In case you're wondering what the hell all of this is about — and if you're not, mayhaps you should be — "Swagga Suits" are "unique [...] onepiece jumpsuits" designed specifically for the tastes, measurements and comfort preferences of folks who support the University of Washington, where Brockman starred for four years before becoming a second-round draft pick of the Sacramento Kings in 2009, a group that includes UW students, faculty, alumni, fans and "Community" star Joel McHale. Yahoo! Sports

May 17, 2012 | 10:41 AM ET Update

The two-time NBA Coach of the Year will tell you, however, that he captained the U.S. Armed Forces team that toured Eastern Europe in 1972, and that the relationships he developed overseas have proven invaluable during his years as an NBA assistant and, more importantly, during his 16 seasons as the Spurs' coach and eight as general manager. "If you recall, Mike and Pop were my two choices in 2005," Colangelo said in a phone interview. "When I talked to Coach K, he almost jumped through the phone. I didn't sense that same enthusiasm in my conversation with 'Pop.' Afterward, he sent me a letter and said I misinterpreted what he said. He felt I had misjudged him, and maybe I did. But that was a long time ago. How can anyone argue with his record, his performance? With him as a great coach?" Sacramento Bee

While the topic remains a sore spot with the Spurs, Colangelo is as good at maintaining and repairing relationships as anybody in the business. Disagreements are forgotten and perceived slights forgiven. If he wants Popovich, he'll get Popovich. Any lingering tension between the two – real or imagined – adds intrigue, but it won't dictate who takes over the national team. Sacramento Bee

Here again, Popovich fulfills all the criteria. He has the complete game. He has coached in college, won with David Robinson and Tim Duncan, won with Duncan and two guards from overseas (Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker). He wins with misfits (Stephen Jackson), trades them away, brings them back, and wins with them again (Stephen Jackson). He wins with rookies (Kawhi Leonard) and with role players, while changing tempo and pacing, but invariably excelling at defense and teamwork. "The rules can change," Colangelo said. "You have to be able to adapt. Coach K came in and we changed the infrastructure, the culture, the program. After London, we'll sit down and look at everything. Pop would certainly be a leading candidate if it's going to be a pro coach." Sacramento Bee

Paris is supposed to be wonderful this time of year. The Caribbean, too. But Moscow? “No sunshine but still beautiful,” Nets point guard Deron Williams posted on Twitter this week. Williams and wife Amy posted pictures of themselves and Red Square Wednesday as the offseason’s most intriguing vacation continued in Russia, home of noted billionaire and NBA owner, Mikhail Prokhorov. Though there has been no evidence of Williams and Prokhorov holding serious talks, the two had a casual discussion in Turkey where two other entries in the storyline, Nets general manager Billy King and former Williams Jazz teammate Andrei Kirilenko, also emerged. New York Post

One website rates Williams as the top available free-agent point guard, Wallace as the top small forward, Green as the fifth-best available two guard (yeah, he’s more small forward) and Kris Humphries as the fifth- best available power forward. The Nets, though, seem to want Boston’s Kevin Garnett or Milwaukee’s Ersan Ilyasova for their starting four. New York Post

Restricted center Brook Lopez, coming off a broken right foot and additional foot injury, wants to stay. If the pursuit of Dwight Howard, recovering from back surgery, fizzles, the Nets could do far worse than having Lopez with Williams running the show. Remember, the two have played just 17 games together. New York Post

Bo McCalebb released a long interview to Tuttosport. The PG of Mens Sana Siena didn't want to talk about his future because he is too focused on the Serie A Playoffs who will start today with Montepaschi facing Cimberio Varese in the quarterfinals. "European basket is very tough. If we reach the final, we will finish the season at the end of June and on July 2 we have the first game of the Pre- Olympic Tournament. NBA? It is obvious that I would love to play there but this is not the right moment to think about that. I am too focused on Siena and the playoffs. My future? As I have just said, it is too early to talk. At the end of the season we will sit with Siena and talk" said McCalebb who has still contract with Montepaschi Siena for the next two years. Sportando

In a footnote to December’s Tyson Chandler sign-and-trade, the Mavericks included the draft rights to Printezis, an Athens-born forward who won the Greek Slam-Dunk contest in 2007. Now 27, he was selected in the second round by the Raptors in 2007. “They have a nice little asset now,’’ one NBA executive said of Printezis. “People now know who he is now.’’ However, getting him in a Knicks uniform is a problem. Printezis is a free agent and likely has earned a significant contract from Olympiakos, one of Europe’s deepest-pocketed teams. New York Post

The Knicks believe he could make a good NBA reserve, but would only have the rookie minimum to offer Printezis — because they do not want to use risk a portion of their $5M mid-level exception. The dilemma is they can’t even bring him in for July’s summer league in Las Vegas to work with him and get a good look. Printezis, a gritty forward who can rebound, penetrate and shoot, is on the Greek National Team vying for the London Olympics. Greece will play in the final Olympic qualifier in early July in Venezeula as heavy favorites to make it to the London Games. “He’s playing the best ball of his life,’’ said an NBA executive who saw him play during the Euro-league. “The NBA has always been on his mind, but he would need a long-term commitment. He wouldn’t just come for one year.’’ New York Post

The Wizards will probably seek some perimeter help in the draft and/or free agency this offseason, so Almond also knows that he isn’t assured a spot with the Wizards — or any other team — next season. “Well, you know it’s up in the air at this point,” Almond said. “I guess being a free agent, it’s just up in the air, but right now I just want to unwind and decompress a little bit from this year. No more Eastern Europe for me, but it’s a lot of options actually, so I just have to weight everything out in the coming weeks.” Washington Post

In an interview with Sports.ru in Moscow on Tuesday, Shved's agent Obrad Fimic said while no official NBA offers are on the table at this moment, five teams have shown interest in his client -- Atlanta, Houston, Oklahoma City, Minnesota and Memphis. As it stands, Shved remains under contract with CSKA but all signs point to him making the jump to the NBA, despite Fimic refuting a recent report that his client was asking upwards of $10 to $12 million on a three-year deal. Ridiculous Upside

Interest in Shved peaked in mid-winter and later in February Pete Philo, an international scout for the Minnesota Timberwolves, was on hand in Moscow to check in on Shved according to a league contact in Moscow. But the question remains how will Shved's game translate to the NBA? Ridiculous Upside

Kobe Bryant on the Thunder comeback victory: “It’s a tough loss, but the biggest thing for us was that we found some things out defensively that we feel we can do that’s effective. They did a great job. It was a great comeback by them in the last two minutes. They got themselves a gritty win. Now it’s up to us to go back home and defend our home court.” Oklahoman

Durant's steal of a Kobe Bryant pass late in the fourth quarter helped ignite the Thunder's game-ending 9-0 run during a stunning 77-75 come-from- behind victory over the Lakers on Wednesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinal series. "People talk about how I score the ball," said Durant, who finished with 22 points on nine-for-15 shooting. "They don't look at me when we go on the other end. I think this whole playoff run, I've been picking it up on the defensive end, just trying to get my hands on the basketball." Los Angeles Times

Coach Brown on Durant: “He is a great player and that is what great players do. He had a great game, especially the lat two minutes of the game. Defensively and offensively, I thought he was huge for them.” Oklahoman

Blake missed the possible go-ahead shot with 3.9 seconds to play, his three-point attempt from the corner a little long and a tad to the right. "I'm going to take that shot," Blake said. "It was a good look. I just happened to miss it this time." Los Angeles Times

The rule he broke Tuesday was an easy one. Players are supposed to make themselves available to media members after practices and games. "As soon as the coach said we could go [Tuesday], I bonked out on you guys," Bynum said Wednesday, suggesting he simply forgot to talk to reporters. Los Angeles Times

"He's rebounding, he's defending, he's talking,'' said Boston coach Doc Rivers of Garnett, who moved to center when Boston ran out of alternatives in the second half of the season. "He was really upset after the game [Monday] night because he didn't think we played the right way as a team.'' Rivers thought about all of Garnett's contributions before focusing on the one that he is exploiting more than ever in his five years with the Celtics. "He is relentless in the post,'' said Rivers. "That's an area where Kevin, you've got to remind him to go down there ... I would say that's the No. 1 thing.'' SI.com

"I wanted to be aggressive regardless," Pierce said. "When I'm limited to 7 to 9 shots in a game, that isn't me, and I have to be aggressive in everything I do." Pierce is known for coming up strong in the big games. He was the 2008 playoff MVP, leading the Celtics to the NBA title. Pierce first suffered the knee injury in Game 4 of the Celtics opening-round win over the Atlanta Hawks, yet he insists that isn't a detriment. "I feel fine," he said. Philadelphia Inquirer

Diaw, who grabbed a playoff career-high 12 rebounds, did his best to keep Griffin from getting close enough to the basket to dunk. “Well, it's not easy, of course,” Diaw said. “Everybody knows him, the way he's playing. He's very athletic, so I try to take some stuff away from him. The main thing with him is to try and keep him outside the paint because as soon as he's in the paint, he can dunk from anywhere. So try to keep him out.” San Antonio Express-News

After the Clippers lost by 18 points to the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night, Chris Paul’s two-year old son told his father that he played a good game. Paul didn’t waste a minute correcting him. “No, bad game,” he said. “Daddy had a bad game. Daddy couldn’t make a shot.” After an extensive film session and a short practice Wednesday, Paul’s assessment of his Game 1 performance didn’t change. “We played hard last night, but we didn’t play effective. That’s probably me,” he said. “I didn’t play effective. I’ve got to come out and have a better game.” Orange County Register

Barry believes James, a 74.6 percent career free-throw shooter, is a good enough marksman that he easily could shoot over 80 percent using a traditional style if some adjustments are made. While Barry said most of those adjustments should be made during the offseason, he said there's one thing James could do now in an empty gym. "The thing he could do right now is just focus on the target a little more," Barry said. FOXSports Florida

What was last team to win an NBA title without an MVP-caliber or obvious future Hall of Famer? OK, then how 'bout before Detroit in 2004? Can it be done? "Yeah, I think it can," Granger said. "It just depends on if everyone knows their role and everyone plays their role to the best of their abilities. You have guys to score, you have guys to rebound, you have guys for defense, you have hustle guys. Everyone has to play those roles more effectively when you don't have a Kevin Durant on your team or a Kobe Bryant." NBA.com

But he might want to consider quietly walking away — because based on his short stint in Washington, Almond could go down as the greatest winner in Wizards franchise history. He didn’t win a championship or anything, but the Wizards didn’t lose a game with him on the roster. “I’m not going to say anything, but we did go undefeated in the Morris Almond era. I’ll let you put two and two together,” Almond said with a sly grin. “I went undefeated. I was 6-0. Hold onto that. It’s always fun to win, under any circumstances.” Washington Post

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he though Perk was “really good.” “Going into today, not really sure he was going to play tonight,” Brooks said. “But like I said yesterday, the guy just gives everything he has to his team. You can never discount the heart of a champion, and he has the heart of a champion. I’m proud of him to come back and play. He is banged up. He will never tell you that. He understands that in NBA basketball, you have to put yourself out there and help your team win, and he did that tonight.” Oklahoman

Unfortunately, I don’t expect Perk to be healthy for the rest of this playoff run. As long as he’s out there bumping and banging — especially against big ol’ Bynum — that hip is never going to get healed. Oklahoman

Ajani Williams, president of the Jamaica Basketball Association (JaBA), said National Basketball Association (NBA) player Roy Hibbert has asked the administration for a release in order to become eligible to play for the United States at this summer's Olympic Games. "He (Hibbert's agent) said they were grateful to us for having him playing with our team because he has a shot at playing with Team USA, and so they would like JaBA to release him from the national team," said Williams during an interview with The Gleaner yesterday. Jamaica Gleaner

McGee became known worldwide after competing in the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk Competition, becoming the first man to dunk two basketballs on two separate rings at the same time. He first met Reyes when McGee came to the Philippines last July 2011 to play in a two-game series, the Smart Ultimate All-Star Weekend, with other NBA players including Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Derrick Rose. But it was McGee who made the biggest impression on the Filipino fans, thanks to his dazzling array of powerful dunks and his on-court antics, which included 'planking' – or lying face down – on the floor of the Araneta Coliseum. ABS-CBN News

"(JaVale) really fell in love with the country, he liked Manila," Reyes said. "JaVale fit all the characteristics I want in a naturalized player." "He's a 7-footer, he's tall, athletic, quick. He's not a slow big man... We felt that he was an ideal choice to be a naturalized Filipino and he agreed, he liked the idea," he added. ABS-CBN News

Still, Jackson remains confident that his team is on the right track and will be a factor in the Western Conference in 2012-13. Jackson isn’t doubling down on a playoff prediction for this upcoming season, but on Wednesday he went on the Jim Rome show and made it clear that the Warriors aren’t a 23-43 team. “We’re closer than that,” Jackson said. “At the end of the day, we are what our record said we were. But we’re much closer. You take a look … we closed the season with our four best players injured (Andrew Bogut, Stephen Curry, David Lee and Dorell Wright). … We are much better than our record indicated. “But we’re going to have to get healthy and then continue to build toward putting some proper pieces around our star pieces.” CSNBayArea.com

Bird's patience paid off. The Pacers finished with the fifth-best record in the NBA this season (42-24), whipped Orlando 4-1 in the playoffs' first round and are tied 1-1 with Miami in the Eastern Conference semifinals. "It's obvious why he got Executive of the Year," coach Frank Vogel said. "If you look at how this particular team has been built, it's really remarkable from where we were a few years ago." Indianapolis Star

If basketball doesn’t work out for Kris Humphries, he may have a future in comedy. A source close to the NBA free agent says Humphries will appear in a second Funny or Die video now that the first one he did went viral last week. The soon-to-be ex-husband of Kim Kardashian turned heads — and boosted his fan base — when he emerged from the shadows of the New Jersey Nets’ off-season to appear in the video, titled “Kris Humphries Is a Douchebag.” New York Daily News

Weren’t you afraid to go back to Russia? You hold an American passport. Not everyone in Russia thought your decision made sense. Andrei Kirilenko: Why? I knew where I was going and America will wait. My wife and three children were able to choose where to live. Russia Beyond The Headlines

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