HoopsHype rumors

October 8, 2012 | 07:54 PM ET Update

McGrady, a seven-time All-Star, couldn't secure a guaranteed NBA contract for this season and decided against trying to make a roster in training camp. McGrady, 33, will likely complete the deal within the next couple days and leave for China within the next one to two weeks, sources said. McGrady's long-time partnership with former Houston Rockets center Yao Ming made McGrady a popular player in China, and he'll be afforded star status there. Yahoo! Sports

Speaking with CBSSports.com in a quiet moment after practice, Bryant conceded that, in all likelihood, the finish line and the conclusion of his current contract will be one in the same. Bryant has two years left, and though he was careful to point out, "One can never be too sure," he made it clear in the next breath it's almost unfathomable he would play beyond 2013-14, which would be his 18th season. CBSSports.com

Even after visiting the fountain of youth in the form of a knee procedure in Germany that allowed him to average nearly 39 minutes per game last season, Bryant senses that the end is near -- and not only for his knees, wrist, ankles or other body parts, but also for his incomparably competitive mind. The window, he is ready to acknowledge, is two years. Two more chances to catch Jordan. "It's not about health necessarily," he said. "It's about 'Do I want to do it? Do I have that hunger to continue to prepare at a high level?' " CBSSports.com

With James Harden’s contract situation going on, what happens to Maynor? And do you feel that one will sign, or both, or neither? If Harden signs, Maynor is gone. If Harden doesn't sign, Maynor has a great shot at staying. But even then it depends on his price tag. The Thunder isn't going to overpay for Maynor when Reggie Jackson is waiting in the wings. Oklahoman

What better way to curry favor with Bryant than to belittle Shaq? So far, they're both making all the right moves and saying all the right things. In fact, even before the Shaq-Dwight exchange last week, Bryant offered a vigorous defense of Howard in his conversation with CBSSports.com, calling out Howard's critics as "silly." "I don't think he needs to understand anything [about being a Laker]," Bryant said. "I think he just needs to come in and do what he normally does. There's some things that I'll teach him just in terms of the approach to the game and how to manipulate defenses and things like that. But I think he just comes here and has a good time. He has a great personality, which is perfect for this city." CBSSports.com

And while it's hardly surprising that Bryant would support Fisher, a friend with whom he has won five championships, union member No. 24's refusal to so much as throw Hunter a benefit-of-the-doubt lifeline was awfully telling. "I support Fisher 100 percent," Bryant told CBSSports.com. "I mean, he's the head of our [union] and you have to trust -- and I know just from knowing him -- that he does everything in his power to help the players out, 110 percent, even to his own detriment. So I think it's important for us as players to always stick together in that situation." CBSSports.com

The London Olympics may have been a gold-medal experience for the Knicks. Mike Woodson has come to that conclusion after watching Carmelo Anthony during the first week of the team's training camp. "I think Melo was fantastic during the Olympics,'' the Knicks coach said after practice Monday in Greenburgh. "He did a lot of wonderful things for that team to help them secure the gold medal. There's been a nice carryover in the camp coming back. I think he's committed. I always thought he was committed. And he'll have to be committed even more, if you're talking about trying to take this thing to the next level. That's everybody. It's not just Carmelo Anthony.'' New York Daily News

But it starts with Anthony, the team's star, who has usually had to work his way into top shape in training camp after a typical off-season. Not this time. He and Tyson Chandler, the Knicks' other gold-medal winner in London, reported to camp in prime condition. "It's a bonus for any coach to have two players that played throughout the summer, where they don't get a lot of time off,'' Woodson said. "And then they come back, they should be pumped up and ready to go. And these two guys have been that way and it's nice to see.'' New York Daily News

October 8, 2012 | 05:32 PM ET Update

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have requested waivers on forward Dominique Morrison. The 6’6” Oral Roberts product did not appear in yesterday’s 85-80 win over the Orlando Magic in Mexico City. NBA.com

"I think (Cuban) would have been able to answer a lot of the questions me and my agent have for him that really didn't get answered that day pertaining to the future," Williams told reporters. "And I think if he was there he would have been able to answer those questions a little bit better. It maybe would have helped me. "(I wanted to hear about) the direction of the future of the team, other than Dirk. Players they were thinking about. Everything was basically just their track record, trust their track record, which is, you know, I can honor that, because they do have a good track record but it's not enough for me, especially when Billy was updating me daily." ESPN.com

And they hope Barclays shifts shapes once more, into a real home for them, after so many years in the wilderness. The vision that GM Billy King and Prokhorov sold Williams to keep him from going to Dallas is on the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic, perhaps not a catalyst to remake a borough, but just an arena, a fine arena that will enable the Nets to win more basketball games. "At times, it was hard for me to see that vision, because we were losing, and things weren't going well," Williams said. "But now that I made the decision to come back, I'm happy. I'm excited I did. This can be special—this team, this move, everything they did, everything they've talked about for the last two years, it's come true." NBA.com

"I was disappointed because in my life I had always exceeded expectations. But (in Memphis), it was a little bit of a failure. I have to stay focused every night, practice hard, do extra work and stay prepared so that it won't happen again. "I felt like I could have done better (in Memphis). Starting and then moving to bench would be tough on everybody. I had started all my life, so that was something I had to adjust to. It's a new opportunity in Dallas, so I have to play hard and hold my ground." Sulia

It disappointed White to read stories where doctors whom he had never met and who had never treated him were offering opinions on his condition and his future. And this is mental illness we're talking about, not a stress fracture. It is an illness that stigmatizes its victims and paralyzes them into suffering in silence. "On one end, you have the world that doesn't know, and then you have people in power that do know, and it's too costly to make the reforms necessary," White said on the phone Sunday night. "And then you have the mental health people who are just quiet to begin with. You want to be alone. You're prone to being scared. As a demographic, we're really quiet people. It just so happens that I'm not quiet." NBA.com

With an agreement with the team within reach, subject to the advice of the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association, White is reporting to Rockets' camp this morning, a week after the rest of the team. He worked on the side with some players and assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff Sunday, and he's way behind. But he's going to be on the team this season. "Everyone was just asking me if I was okay," White said. "The perception was I was going through something mental health wise right now, that I wasn't well. But they were all really supportive. Chandler Parsons is my veteran; I'm his rookie. And he told me, whatever I need, just let him know. I definitely don't want to be one of those weak links, and I don't think anybody sees me as that." NBA.com

The very act of getting on top of this, of bringing some order to what would appear an insurmountable problem, is therapeutic for White. But the underlying issue was getting a structure in place on which he could depend. "Organizational compulsive disorder is kind of my thing," White said. "I get very discomfited when things don't get organized. Now it gives me something to gauge from. We put a plan in place. Now, I can look at it. Is it working? Is it not working? ... It was also about my routine, and developing consistency. Getting a bus, making it feel like home is part of that consistency." NBA.com

Sigh. Jesse, I want you to think -- really think -- about this. Why would a winning season in Portland be something that I "never wanted ... to happen?" Seriously. What benefit would that provide me? More money? Is there a 5-foot-10 supermodel out there whose interest in me depends on my never, ever going to Portland? Do you have some other evidence that I don't like your city? If you do, it would be incorrect, as I have had some wonderful times in the Rose City. I am basing my contention that the Blazers will struggle this season on a) the Blazers telling me they think they're going to struggle this season, b) the Thunder, Lakers, Clippers, Spurs, Nuggets, Grizzlies, Mavericks and Jazz. Do you, really, think the Blazers are going to be better than any of those teams in the West this season? It's not "talking down" a team to make an assessment of how it will do in a given season. For the record, I don't think the Kings, Suns and Hornets will do all that well in the West, either. I don't hate any of those cities, either. NBA.com

We’ll start with the injury report. Anthony Tolliver did not practice after he suffered a scratched cornea in Sunday’s exhibition game against the Heat. I spoke with Tolliver and he only expects to miss a few days. DeShawn Stevenson also did not practice in the non-contact workout, although he took part in free-throw shooting drills. Coach Larry Drew said Stevenson was sore after Sunday’s game. Zaza Pachulia (groin) and Devin Harris participated in the non-contact drills. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

His son is arguably the National Basketball Association's (NSA) biggest star. But even though Joe Bryant is very proud of son Kobe and his achievements, he prefers to be known as his own man, and not the father of the five-time NBA champion, two-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player and double Olympic medallist. "Of course I am proud of what Kobe is doing. He is my own flesh and blood. But I have never used his name to take me places," said Joe in an interview with TODAY in Johor Bahru recently. "I don't go around introducing myself as his father, that's for sure. But I can't help when people say, 'Ah so, you are the father of Kobe Bryant'." Today Online

October 8, 2012 | 02:23 PM ET Update

The New Orleans Hornets on Monday will release free-agent forward Dominique Morrison, a league source sasid, reducing their roster to 16. Morrison did not play in Sunday's 85-80 exhibition win in Mexico City against the Orlando Magic. New Orleans Times-Picayune

They Spurs hold your rights. Are you still looking to come to the NBA and play for the Spurs? Viktor Sanikidze: Now I just signed a contract with Siena, the best team in Italy. It's my new challenge for me, to play in the Euroleague. I hope to do good. I had a good season last year. I hope I am going to good and hope that the Spurs are going to like my numbers also. ProjectSpurs.com

"Now I'm here, and now I can just relax and have fun and be who I am," Howard told SI.com shortly after the reporter roundtable ended. "I guess last year I really just sheltered, or kept myself away, because it was like, I say this, and then it's going to be turned into something else, or somebody is going to take it the wrong way and make it seem like I'm a certain type of person. So I really just tried to stay to myself. But now I'm basically free. It's a lot of fun. This is who I am." SI.com

"Everybody had a perception based on what was put out there on TV, and it wasn't the right one," Howard continued. "There's nothing I could really do about it. So when I see that, I do get upset and it hurts me because I'm like, 'This is not me.' I've never been a distraction to a team. I've never been a bad teammate, never been a guy who does all these things that people said I was doing. But I'm going to show these [Lakers] guys that this is who I am. I love to have fun. I love to bring people together, and I'm going to go out there every night and give you 110 percent." SI.com

Johnson said the Nets think that Blatche “could be one of the steals of free agency,” just the latest compliment that he’s been paid since training camp began. It seems pretty clear that Blatche is going to begin the season in the rotation, and is a lock to be on the court whenever Lopez gets a break. What’s left to be determined now is whether or not he’ll push for some time alongside Lopez, as well, over power forward Mirza Teletovic and Evans. New York Post

The whispers of Wade declining began during last year's playoffs and have continued with the notion he's "NBA old" at the age of 30. Rather than say he's a few years away from a rocking chair, Wade will just ignore the outside criticism. "You know what I've decided," Wade said recently. "I've just decided not to comment on it any more." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

So, will Wade struggle early? It's unlikely, considering Wade kept a log of the "old man" articles from last season. He actually viewed it as an energy drink, an extra boost heading into his 10th season. Did the premature retirement party tick him off? You bet. "Any time someone questions you, it's going to bother you if you have any kind of competitive nature," Wade said. "It fuels you. You want to see what you're made of in a sense. You want to come back and not only answer the bell, but do a little bit more than expected." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Kevin Durant wants to clear up something about his offseason workouts with LeBron James. “A lot of people blew (it) out of proportion,” the reigning three time scoring champion said. “It was just one day.” Oklahoman

Still, some had a problem with Durant recently traveling to Ohio for the second consecutive summer to train with James. Durant, though, doesn't see the big deal. “I'm a competitive guy,” Durant said. “I'm sure you guys have seen that in me. I just wanted to work out. That's what it was all about. I'll work out with anybody. I would have worked out with Kobe Bryant. I would have worked out with Carmelo (Anthony). I just wanted to work out and get better.” Oklahoman

For all that the NBA is known for, league commissioner David Stern generally gets the credit as well as the criticism. But if the league begins to allow advertising on jerseys, it won't be because of any lobbying efforts on Stern's part. "It's something that's being discussed by the NBA Board of Governors," said Stern who was in attendance at Boston's 105-75 win over EA7 Emporio Armani. "This is the one forum that understands that advertising on team jerseys has gone on for decades, both in football and in basketball, virtually every other sport." CSNNE.com

And while he recognizes the upside of such a decision - increased revenue - Stern likes the league's jerseys as they are now. "As a personal matter, I am not in favor of it, but I'm not standing in the way of it," Stern said. "If my board wants to do it, we'll do it." CSNNE.com

It is clear that Stern's opposition to having ads on jerseys has more to do with tradition than anything else. "Of all the leagues in the world, the NBA is the only one that has its own logo on it," Stern said. "No information of the manufacturer and no sponsor, and that is something that I have worked hard to preserve for many decades. But I understand that the team may have to come to consider it. So we're going to let the Board of Governors decide what to do." CSNNE.com

October 8, 2012 | 09:49 AM ET Update

According to a source who is close with Iverson and the other team members, his training was claimed to have been sporadic at best, and lacking any form of regimental training systems. His body's condition appeared to be in poor shape, and was deemed to be unable to sustain himself in highly intensive competitions. With his current performance and abilities on the court, he would be unable to perform in the CBA. Therefore, his chances of joining the CBA are as low as to be virtually nil. NetEase

Is there any hope for Iverson to play in the CBA? This should not have been a problem, but has surprisingly become a major issue, which is turning out to hold a depressing answer. Allen Iverson recently played in a Beijing exhibition game and seems to be in poor shape. According to people in the know, he has been lacking in training and his body poorly conditioned. NetEase

The Beijing Ducks won the USA invitational team in an exhibition game, and Iverson scored four points in what could be best described as a poor showing. Despite his massive popularity, his performance was subpar, lacking his trademark explosiveness and offensive firepower. His speed, resistance and other physical factors had noticeably degraded. Iverson had earlier claimed to be in training for potential participation in the CBA, but it appears that the situation is not what he had promised during the earlier promotional activities. NetEase

The source also commented that Iverson maintained his usual sense of pride, despite the drop in abilities. He was quoted as negotiating an annual salary of $1 million with various CBA teams, which seemed to be at odds with the physical shape The Answer was in. NetEase

Leonard says he is open to remaining with the Spurs for as long as he can, citing another Spur for life — Duncan — as the model. For now, the effusive praise Leonard’s coach keeps tossing his way daily only serves as motivation. “It makes me want to work hard so I can live up to that standard,” Leonard said. San Antonio Express-News

More and more, team decision-makers have come to view Leonard as a bridge to the post-Big Three future. To quote Popovich from a summertime mailbag feature posted on the club’s official website: “I think he’s going to be a star. And as time goes on, he’ll be the face of the Spurs, I think.” And on the eve of training camp earlier this month, Popovich all but offered Leonard the job security of a Supreme Court justice. “If the planets and agents and that sort of thing line up,” Popovich said, “we’d love him to be a Spur for life.” That’s a question for 2015, when Leonard’s standard rookie-scale contract expires. San Antonio Express-News

Even in the event Eddy Curry doesn't make the Spurs, word is he's played well enough to have drawn interest from... several teams, which are supposedly keeping tabs on him. Then again, Curry no longer seems like such a long shot to make the Spurs' final roster. The Bucks, Trail Blazers, Hornets and yes, Bulls, all may have an interest if Curry is cut loose. Sulia

Assuming recently signed power forward Rasheed Wallace makes the team, Shurna is one of five players competing for the 15th roster spot on the club. The group includes rookies Chris Smith (the younger brother of shooting guard J.R. Smith), Henry Sims and Oscar Bellfield, overseas veteran Chris Copeland and second-year pro Mychel Thompson. “My main goal is just to go in and play as hard as I can each day, that’s all you can do,” Shurna said. “Try and compete, try and win in every form of competition out on the court, and at the same time listen to all these guys. You can take in a lot.” Shurna said he is more focused on improving on a daily basis than concerned with where he stands among the other hopefuls. He has made a point of putting in extra time shooting after practice, frequently one of the last players to leave the facility. “There’s always room for improvement,” he said. “I always want to get better.” New York Post

During the offseason, Prokhorov pursued Kirilenko, but to no avail. The biggest reason was likely because the Nets could only offer the forward the veteran's minimum, while the Timberwolves were able to pay him $20 million over two years. On Friday, Kirilenko spoke to ESPNNewYork.com about his relationship with Prokhorov, but he wouldn't comment on any of the negotiations. "Those questions I'm not going to answer because I'm a Minnesota Timberwolf right now," he said. "There's no problem with it, but I don't think it's correct when you're talking about the different teams, because when you do, they have a player at your same position. I don't think it's going to be a good idea when you talk about the team because the player who plays your position will think, 'Oh, they wanted to bring Andrei instead.' I don't think it's a good idea." ESPN.com

Kobe Bryant refused to touch a reporter's question late Sunday night about Shaquille O'Neal's critical comments about new Lakers center Dwight Howard, but at least he was pleasant about it. A smiling Bryant said simply: "My primary concern is the big fella here (Howard). I think he's going to do just fine for his legacy with the Lakers." Los Angeles Daily News

Williams is 26. The reliable outside shooter has averaged double digits every year he has played in the NBA except his rookie season. The Jazz acquired Williams in exchange for point guard Devin Harris to make room for newly acquired Mo Williams. An 18,000-seat community center bearing Williams’ name is being constructed in his hometown of Bremerton, Wash. Williams is content. "I don’t have to live up to anybody’s expectations but my own," he said. "I have to look at myself in the mirror every night. And when I do that, I’m very satisfied with where I came from and what I’m working toward." Salt Lake Tribune

Stoudemire is a quick study and can recount Olajuwon’s dance steps as if reciting the periodic table. Asked if he knows the “Dream Shake,” Stoudemire said: “As Hakeem will tell you, there’s more than one move that consists of the Shake. To be honest with you, there’s about four or five moves. The shake is the fifth move to that because there’s so many counters. The Shake comes on the fourth or fifth move.’’ Stoudemire didn’t know a single move before the summer. He blames it on being attached to former Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni’s speedball game. “I’m a player who adapted to the system I played in,’’ Stoudemire said. “I’ve been under D’Antoni for seven, eight years. Post-up wasn’t a factor for us. We were such a high-octane, up-tempo team where speed and quickness was to our advantage. I’m now allowed to develop a post game where my speed and quickness will still be used to my advantage but add a lot of [post] skill.’’ New York Post

Keith Bogans played only five games before he broke his ankle and completely tore his deltoid ligament last February. The Nets released him and it looked like his career with the team was over. Not so. Even after he was cut, Bogans was helped by the Nets training staff. "From the time my ankle broke through the rehab and all the way back, I haven’t been treated the way I’ve been treated here in my whole career," said Bogans, who's played for seven NBA teams in his nine-year career. So Bogans wanted back and considering his calling card is defense, Avery Johnson wanted him. NetsDaily

Joakim Noah has a reputation as a free spirit, but he remained a missing one Sunday. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said his starting center missed a second consecutive day of training camp for ‘‘personal reasons.’’ ‘‘Just a personal matter,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘He’ll be out a couple days. Hopefully he’ll be back [Monday].’’ Chicago Sun-Times

Veterans Al Jefferson and Mo Williams are expected to play in the Jazz’s preseason opener Monday night at Golden State. Prior to Sunday’s practice, coach Tyrone Corbin said Jefferson and Williams were held out of Saturday’s public scrimmage as a precaution because they were "a little banged up." Salt Lake Tribune

Jackson said he held back Curry because he didn't want him to play a back-to-back set yet on his rehabilitated right ankle. He said Curry will make his debut Monday against the Utah Jazz at Oracle Arena. "It had nothing to do with how he looks," Jackson said. "He looks great. He's done everything we've asked him to do from the day after Labor Day. He's in great shape. We play home Monday in front of our fans, and I thought that would be the better place to play." San Jose Mercury-News

One thing holdovers such as Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer won't have to adjust to is playing without Derrick Rose. Somewhat lost in the hangover of Rose's eight- to 12-month absence after knee surgery is the fact he missed 27 games with various injuries last season. "Derrick is a great player, but this is not a new thing for us," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "He missed half of last season. We found a way to do it last year. And I expect us to find a way to do it this year. "This is about the players we have available. (Richard Hamilton) has been a big-shot maker his whole career. Carlos has been a big-shot maker. Luol has hit a lot of big shots for us. We have several guys who are capable." Chicago Tribune

Stern gives Seattle boost of hope: Commissioner David Stern offered this little nugget on the future of basketball in Seattle, which is just approved a new arena plan when talking to reporters in Milan, Italy. "It would be my hope that within the timeframe that you mentioned, five years, that if everything works out perfectly, there would be a new arena and new team in Seattle. That's always, for the board of governors, but I know that many governohrs are favorably inclined." Sulia

During the Olympics you have met with NBA commissioner David Stern in order to discuss the matter of flopping. How do you comment the new anti-flopping rule? Vlade Divac: “They started overdoing it, I think it was bad for basketball and it was a great decision to make basketball more clear”. EuroHoops.net

The Nets will use stage lighting — just as the Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers do — enhancing the feel of intimacy and putting the focus squarely on the court. Johnson described it as “that Broadway feel.” The players were also thrilled with their spacious new locker room, which includes an array of electrical outlets in every locker so they can keep their phones and iPads charged. “It’s first class,” forward Kris Humphries said of the arena, adding, “Everything’s so much bigger and nicer than what we’re used to.” New York Times

He will make a debut of a different sort Tuesday night, when "Keyshia & Daniel: Family First," his reality show with wife Keyshia Cole, airs at 10 p.m. on BET. He's not the least bit nervous about that. In fact, he can't wait for fans to see all eight episodes. "I'm extremely proud of it because I just think, for some reason, family is not big in America anymore," he said after practice Sunday as the Cavs prepared to host Italian power Montepaschi Siena tonight at The Q. "It seems like people have become real materialistic. When they see us, I'm hoping it gives hope to a family atmosphere," Gibson said. "No person is perfect, but you work together, you work it out, you stick it out . . . that's what makes a family work. The name says it all." Cleveland Plain Dealer

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