HoopsHype rumors

October 10, 2012 | 08:05 PM ET Update

Having these authority figures around has changed the tone. Their presence is especially important for the Warriors because of so many youngsters on the roster. Of the four rookies, at least two (forward Harrison Barnes and center Festus Ezeli) will be part of the regular rotation. One starting guard, Klay Thompson, is in his second year. The other, Stephen Curry has logged just over two seasons worth of games due to ankle injuries. "It's a lot different having a lot of older guys in the locker room now," second-year point guard Charles Jenkins said. "Bogut is a lot more serious than any player. He's a no-nonsense kind of guy. He jokes and all that. But once he gets on the court, all that stops. Same with (Jefferson)." San Jose Mercury-News

R&B Singer Keyshia Cole and her NBA player husband Daniel Gibson are giving fans a look inside their life in the new reality show “Keyshia Cole: Family First” which premiered on Tuesday. The show, shot in Atlanta, coincides with production of Keyshia’s fifth album “Woman to Woman.” Fans will get to see the recording process, which will include cameos of other big names in the music industry, as well as the singer’s wedding to Gibson and his difficult rehabilitation process. The wedding featured on the show takes place in Hawaii and is the couple’s second trip to the alter. The seemingly down-to-earth duo had a small, private ceremony in Vegas several months prior. The show will air on Tuesdays at 10pm ET on BET. Atlanta Black Star

At the end of his 10-minute session with reporters, someone mentioned that he's been through a lot these past few tumultuous years. We'll pick it up there... Odom: "Jesus went through a lot. This is easy for me, you know what I'm saying? Basketball?" To which Berger deadpanned, "But he didn't have your handle..." Insert reporters' laughter here... Odom, smiling: "He had his hands around the world. But we all go through a lot." Sulia

October 10, 2012 | 06:40 PM ET Update

In what he considers a "nice, healthy competition," Brown still touts Meeks as having the edge over Ebanks and Chris Douglas-Roberts. But the way Brown has used Ebanks in training camp suggests otherwise. In the Lakers' 110-83 preseason loss Sunday to the Golden State Warriors, Ebanks played as the the team's first backup shooting guard, scoring six points on three-of-six shooting in just under 13 minutes. Meeks, meanwhile, didn't play until the second half and scored five points in 10 minutes, 44 seconds. More importantly, Ebanks has played with the second team during most of the practice times open to the media. Los Angeles Times

J.R. Smith was looking forward to playing next to his brother, whether in preseason games or in the regular season. Smith said it was difficult to see his brother get hurt. “Any time you see anybody hurt it hurts you, but when you see your brother hurt — and he lives in the same house as you and is trying to achieve the same goals as you — it really puts a damper on the mood,” he said. “To have this injury going into training camp when you’re trying to make a team and prove yourself, it’s frustrating. My job as a teammate is to keep pushing him and make sure he gets back to 100 percent.” New York Times

Shortly after the Knicks’ practice Wednesday, J.R. Smith asked for fans on Twitter to encourage his brother. “Please Pray for my Lil Bro @Cswish9 as he goes in for surgery tomorrow!” Smith wrote. New York Times

Those workouts with Olajuwon came after James struggled with his rhythm and confidence as the Heat faltered in the 2011 Finals against the Dallas Mavericks. But after boosting his post game, James worked more from the power forward position and led the Heat to a title last season. Now, he's tweaking, adding and refining for another run. “To already be the best, the most unstoppable player in the game, and still put this kind of work in to pick up little moves here and there to make him even better shows you the kind of great player LeBron is,” McAdoo said. “He studies the game. There are moves guys used back when I played that I know would be effective today. There's a lot more to it than shooting 3-pointers and athletic dunks. When you get to a certain point, it's about doing whatever you can to complete your game, to have something else to go to when entire teams try to take something else away.” ESPN.com

When factoring in James' freakish leaping ability, size, strength and quickness, McAdoo believes the versatile Heat catalyst can breathe new life into an old- school move. James said he's been studying multiple back-to-the-basket maneuvers used effectively by star players over the years. “[Michael] Jordan's fadeaway, Steve Smith's head-fake-and-go, [James] Worthy's baseline spin. There's a few,” James said. “I'm still developing. Ten years in the league, I still have no idea what my signature move would be.” ESPN.com

October 10, 2012 | 04:37 PM ET Update

Andre Iguodala on how important the lifestyle and market of where he's playing is to him (Iguodala has a player option for 2013-2014): "If you're winning, to me it doesn't matter where you're at. If you're winning it takes care of everything. You could be in Alaksa. That's what it's about. If I'm in Miami, and I'm losing, I'm not going to enjoy the beach. With the way the new media age is, some guys want attention, and in a bigger city the more attention you get and the more exposure you have, so the more money you can make off the court." Facebook.com

Seven-time NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady says he is heading for China to play for the Qingdao DoubleStar Eagles in the Chinese Basketball Association. The 33-year-old McGrady said on his official Website he is excited to play for the Eagles in eastern China and that “it will be an honor” to play for the Chinese people. A woman who answered the phone Wednesday at the basketball club said she had no information. McGrady’s announcement did not give terms for the one-year contract. Tempo

The Cleveland Cavaliers have waived guard Kevin Anderson and guard/forward Justin Holiday, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts. Anderson appeared in one preseason game, scoring three points in five minutes. Holiday also appeared in one preseason game, scoring three points in 12 minutes. NBA.com

Japeth Aguilar’s dream of pursuing a career in the American professional basketball circuit stays alive for the meantime after a National Basketball Association (NBA) Developmental League team promised to draft the former Talk ‘N Text center in the upcoming D-League draft. According to Leo Balayon, the CalTech assistant coach who is supervising Aguilar’s skills training in the United States, the six-foot-nine Aguilar attended the tryouts of the Los Angeles D-Fenders and the Santa Cruz Warriors, and gave such a good account of himself in the Warriors’ tryout that the team said they would draft him. “Basically both teams (the D-Fenders and the Warriors) invited him to try out,” Balayon said in an e-mail to Yahoo! PH Sports. “The D-Fenders did not have a coach yet when he was invited so it was not the best situation. Someone I know in the organization had brought Japeth to the D-Fenders general managers’ attention. We really appreciated that. So after a day, Japeth got an invite to their closed invite-only tryout.” Yahoo! Sports Philippines

The problem, Balayon said, was that some people in the organization got “too excited” about Japeth and claimed he played like Kevin Durant. On the day of the tryout, the team introduced former NBA player Reggie Theus as the new head coach, and Balayon said this caused some problems. “[Theus] had no input on who would be in the tryouts because he was just brought in so I think he was not as invested in it,” he continued. “The assistants from last year as well as other staff were the ones who organized the tryouts. So after being told Japeth played like KD and that he was the one to be looked at first, Theus was already being set with the wrong expectations. “They forced him to play center and power forward, not the SF, which we have been really working on. So even though Japeth played decently, Theus had unrealistic expectations, through no fault of his own.” Yahoo! Sports Philippines

After re-signing with the Brooklyn Nets in July, point guard Deron Williams told general manager Billy King not to wait and see if he could try to acquire Dwight Howard. "One thing Deron did say to me, he said, 'Please, just don't wait on Dwight. We can't wait and not have a team,' " King said during the premiere of NBA TV's "The Association: Brooklyn Nets," which will air on Oct. 16. "The team of Brooklyn is bigger than one person. I owed it to the organization, I owed it to our fans, I owed it to Deron and the players that we have to build for Brooklyn, and we went forward and built our team." ESPN.com

In courting Rashard Lewis during free agency, #Heat suggested he undergo a process called OssaTron on ailing knees Miami guard Dwyane Wade had it in March 2008, and it enabled him to bounce back from knee problems in the summer and win an Olympic gold medal while being Team USA’s leading scoring. Sulia

The process involves shock waves. It’s a non-surgical treatment the Heat believed could get Lewis, 33, back to at least somewhat resembling a player who was an All-Star in 2005 and 2009. “They just numb the knees basically like ultrasound,’’ Lewis said. “It breaks down a lot of the scar tissue and it kind of rebuilds it. It took me off the court for a couple of months… (The Heat believed) it was something that could really help me and get me back on the court playing at a high rate, and I told them anything that would help me be even a little bit better than I was the past season, the past couple of years, I’m willing to try.’’ Sulia

Thirty-two-point-seven seconds was all the time Chicago Bulls rookie guard Ryan Allen and his older brother Memphis Grizzlies veteran guard Tony Allen shared on the United Center court on Tuesday. There was nothing special in terms of basketball that occurred during that span. They guarded each other for three possessions, but neither touched the ball and then the first-half clock expired. Ryan didn’t see the court again the rest of the evening. Yet, with it being Ryan’s first NBA game, the two brothers having never faced each other at any level and both being from Chicago, the few moments they did have together Tuesday were some of the greatest for the two brothers and their mother, Ella. “It was awesome,” said Ella, who cheered for both teams behind the Grizzlies’ bench. “It was really awesome. I was like on 10. To see both of my babies out there on the floor together, I’m like, what an accomplishment, the greatest accomplishment you can make. “I never even fathomed (that would happen.) I never even thought this would happen on nobody’s earth. I just never thought it would happen, but it did. I thank God for it. It was awesome.” ESPN.com

When Tony spoke to Ryan on the floor during the game, it was the first time they talked in a few days. Tony said prior to the game he was treating Ryan like a regular NBA foe and hadn’t talked to him even though Tony got into Chicago the day before. “I treat him like a rival,” Tony said. “I don’t want to talk to him before no game. I’m not in talking to anyone before a game, not even my brother.” Ryan said, “I was trying to call him. He wouldn’t answer. What is up? I wasn’t surprised he did that.” Ella is accustomed to her two son’s different mentalities. But as much as they’re their own people, she says they click perfectly. “It’s like night and day,” Ella said. “Ryan is a little bit more laid back and reserved. Tony’s a little bit more upbeat. They’re like night and day. They gel really well. They get along really good. Tony is crazy about him. That’s his heart.” ESPN.com

Cuban and his family attended both Europe games and the owner was particularly happy about returning to Barcelona. It wasn’t the first time he’s been to Palau St. Jordi, the arena that was built for the 1992 Olympics. “Me and a buddy decided we would take a road trip to Barcelona for the Olympics, and we’d figure out a way to get into the gold medal game,” Cuban said. “We used my lifetime pass on American [Airlines] to get over here and found a cheap hotel. “We got tickets to the gold-medal game and when we got to the arena they told us our tickets were counterfeit.” Cuban and his buddy waited around and got lucky when officials found two tickets to sit in the press section. “It was awesome,” Cuban said. Dallas Morning News

Stan Van Gundy, the former coach of the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic, was all set to join ESPN’s NBA Countdown last month. According to sources, Van Gundy and ESPN allegedly had a handshake deal, and the hope was that SVG, along with Bill Simmons, would perhaps inject some life into the struggling NBA show. And then, according to sources, NBA commissioner David Stern allegedly stepped in and prevented ESPN from hiring Van Gundy, who he has been at odds with for over a year. The Big Lead

The Golden State Warriors, the NBA Development League and the city of Santa Cruz, Calif. announced today that the Dakota Wizards, the Warriors NBA D-League affiliate, will relocate to Santa Cruz beginning with the 2012-13 season. The team will be known as the Santa Cruz Warriors. The Warriors bought the Wizards prior to the 2011-12 season and are one of 11 NBA teams to have one-to-one relationships with their NBA D-League affiliate. The team will play the 2012-13 NBA D-League season at the as-yet-to-be-constructed Kaiser Permanente Arena, a temporary basketball facility in Santa Cruz, the construction of which is a three-pronged effort between Golden State, the city of Santa Cruz, and the Seaside Company. RealGM

At 7-foot-7, the late Manute Bol was one of the tallest players to ever play in the NBA. While Bol passed away in 2010, his son, Bol Bol, appears poised to follow in his father's extra large footsteps. Bol Bol is a 6-foot-5 seventh-grader in Kansas who, just like his father, has surprising range for a player of his stature. (While his form wasn't the prettiest, Manute Bol once hit six 3-pointer in a game.) High School Sports

Multiple images leaking out last night show NBA 2K13 featuring Oklahoma City's new alternate jerseys—with the team nickname misspelled as THUDNER. What's crazy is that everyone seemed to miss the misspelling the first time it was posted. That image above comes from Operation Sports' Steve Noah on his Twitter account. Daily Thunder, a fan site following the team, appears not to have noticed until its commenters pointed it out. Paul Lukas at UniWatch didn't miss it, and found a cellphone pic of a screen that also carries the misspelling. Kotaku.com

October 10, 2012 | 10:30 AM ET Update

Time and NBA defenses haven't caught up to Kobe Bryant after 16 pro seasons, but the dreaded R-word finally has. The 34-year-old Lakers star addressed his retirement after practice Tuesday, saying he remained uncertain if he would play beyond his contract that expires after the 2013-14 season. "We'll see where it goes," Bryant said. "It will be a lot of basketball being played." Los Angeles Times

Kobe Bryant: As far as retirement, I'm not sure how many years I have left but know this: IF and When I announce my retirement, I will do so directly to you first. Let's focus on getting this season taken care of. It should be a fun one. I feel strong, light and quick. I can't wait till Oct 31. It's on. Facebook.com

But as far as he's concerned, he's put an endpoint on his career almost from the beginning. "I said when I was 17 that I'd be done when I was 35. It shouldn't be anything new," Bryant said, somewhat annoyed at all the fuss. "It's inevitable. It's gotta come. I'm not going to play 25 years." ESPN.com

When asked what he'd do after basketball, Bryant laughed. "What the hell do I know?" Bryant said. "It's three years from now guys. I'm not like counting down the days. That time will come. It's inevitable." When that time comes, Bryant said he'll use the way his former coach Phil Jackson handled similar situations as a model. "I've played for Phil. He's gone through it twice now," Bryant said. "I saw how he managed it. He just stayed in the moment, appreciate each day as it comes. If anything, I think it will be more fun." ESPN.com

Bryant said he hasn't felt as good physically as he does right now since the 2006 season. "With all the training I put in this summer," he said, "I feel healthy, I feel strong. I feel ready." ESPN.com

“This will be my 15th season,’’ said Lewis, who played the past year and a half with Washington before signing with Miami last summer as a free agent. “My whole goal is to play another five years and try to get to 20 years… The way I feel now, I most definitely think I can do it.’’ FOXSports Florida

Since the Warriors are already planning on using their first-round pick in the draft on another player, they hope to land Aguilar with their second-round pick. There are currently 16 D-League teams, and it’s not yet clear where the Warriors, who were known last season as the Dakota Wizards, will land in the order of drafting. The draft is set in the first week of November. “They (the Warriors) said they would draft him if he is still available when their turn comes in the draft,” Balayon said. “That's good to hear because they really value him. They even think na maunahan sila. Kasi their very first pick has already been promised to someone else. But their second pick daw will be for Japeth. All we need to do now is wait for the draft. “My concern right now is that if he gets drafted by a team other than the Warriors, he might not get the playing time he needs to improve and get to the NBA. I hope if a team drafts him they really intend to play him.” Yahoo! Sports Philippines

Free-agent point guard Will Conroy can take as much credit as anyone for Brandon Roy, his childhood friend, coming out of retirement and signing with the Timberwolves. Conroy convinced Roy he still could play in the NBA after they started working out together in March in their hometown of Seattle. Conroy is close to Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn, who asked Conroy to put in a few words for him when Roy was attracting interest from other NBA teams. "I told Brandon I know Kahn and he's trying to change the culture in Minnesota," Conroy said Tuesday, Oct. 9, after the Wolves' practice at Target Center. St. Paul Pioneer Press

Conroy is battling for the Wolves' final roster spot with the other five invited free agents: shooting guards Jermaine Taylor (Central Florida) and Seth Tarver (Oregon State), forwards Mike Harris (Rice) and Phil Jones (North Carolina Charlotte), and center Chris Johnson (Louisiana State). As much as Conroy motivated Roy during his comeback attempt, Roy is doing the same for Conroy, telling him not to worry about "making the roster but keep playing as well as you can." St. Paul Pioneer Press

"I like his game," Randolph said. "The kid can play. He has to come into his own. But that kid has a shot. I don't think he's physical enough to be in the NBA as a power forward or center as of now. But he can play small forward the way he shoots. He can move real well. I didn't see a lot of ball-handling skills, but he'll be all right." Mirotic, 21, is expected to play for Real Madrid for at least two more seasons. But Bulls management remains extremely high on the 6-foot-10 forward who averaged 15.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in Real Madrid's two exhibition games stateside against the Grizzlies and Raptors. "He can shoot," Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said. "He knows how to play. It's about getting stronger and learning the NBA game. It's so much more aggressive and physical. Over (in Europe), guys just stay on the perimeter and shoot. Chicago Tribune

“I’m a big D-Will fan, but I’m kind of surprised that he would throw his front office under the bus like that by saying that I would make a difference,” Cuban said Tuesday before the Mavericks’ exhibition game in Spain. “I would have expected him to say — like I’d expect one of our guys to say — ‘Hey I’m so thrilled with the front office and the moves we made and our team that it wouldn’t have mattered what he did.’ “I’m flattered that he thought my presence would have made more of a difference than what the Nets’ management did.” New York Daily News

Howard then pointed out what he perceived as O'Neal being a hypocrite. "He hated the fact when he played that the older guys were talking about him and how he played and now he's doing the exact same thing," Howard said. "Just let it go. There's no sense for him to be talking trash to me. He did his thing in the league. He's one of the most dominant players to ever play the game. Just sit back and relax. You did your thing. Your time is up. So, I don't really care. I don't really care. He can say whatever he wants to say." ESPN.com

Bryant was going nowhere near any of that controversy on Tuesday. Well, sort of. "That's Shaq's job to make a point," Bryant said of O'Neal, who works as an analyst for TNT now. "Dwight is going to be one of the greatest centers of all time. To not say anything but that is laughable. "Shaq has three Finals MVPs and championships, but Dwight does have three Defensive Player of the Year awards. That's something Shaq was never able to accomplish. "I think there's a lot to be said for Dwight and where he's at so early in his career. He's got a lot of room to go. His numbers are going to be way up there one day for sure." ESPN.com

“Absolutely,” Woodson said on Tuesday. “Everybody can’t start. I’ve got a nice mixture of guys in that starting unit from an offensive standpoint and I have to have some offense coming off the bench as well. “Like I told J.R., if he comes off (the bench), ‘Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. Heck, he can be the best player coming off the bench in the league and perhaps win the Sixth Man Award. Hopefully, that parlays into a lot of wins and getting us to a championship round because at the end of the day that’s what we’re in it for.” New York Daily News

Carmelo Anthony, an All-Star at small forward, played arguably his best basketball at power forward last season. But if it's up to him, he won't be playing there much this season. "Right now, we have guys in that position. We want to keep it like that," Anthony said Monday when asked about playing more power forward this year. "I'd rather play my natural position then go down there and play the 4, the 5 and things that I don't really want to do. So with the guys that we have now, I find that we're definitely that much more effective." When asked if he meant that, as long as his teammates remain healthy, his preference is to play the wing, Anthony said, "Absolutely." ESPN.com

His own adaptation is less crucial to Portland's success, clearly, and less certain. If he is to be used as a three, he's competing with Luke Babbitt (who Stotts prefers as a four), Sasha Pavlovic and Adam Morrison (for now) for reserve minutes behind Batum. If Claver is to be used as a stretch four, he's competing with Babbitt, Freeland, J.J. Hickson and Jared Jeffries behind Aldridge. In other words, he almost certainly won't be playing if he can't hack it at the three. "I don't know yet," he said simply when asked if he thinks he will see the court early on. "We have a lot of friendly [preseason] games now, so we'll see how the roles go." Blazers Edge

That ease of mind feels like the product of a man who has done his homework. Claver carefully weighed his decision to come to the NBA from overseas after a lengthy courting process by Blazers management. In July, he decided the timing was right, signing a 3-year contract worth a reported $4 million. Part of his due diligence involved talks with Fernandez, who went from hero to goat during three seasons in the Rose City. "What he explained to me about Portland was that everything was good," Claver told Blazersedge. "He liked Portland. He enjoyed the people and the fans. The team. Maybe it wasn't what he expected before he came. At the end, he wasn't as comfortable as he thought." Blazers Edge

Although playing basketball in Europe seems like an exotic and most likely enjoyable endeavor, Morrison made it clear as to why he left. It wasn’t homesickness or the different culture, it was more about the day-to-day life of a professional basketball player that made him want to return stateside and give the NBA another shot. “A lot of people don’t know that in Europe you might not get paid, you practice twice a day, they treat you like you’re an eighteen year-old kid,” Morrison said. “After a while you’re just like ‘alright, this is not for me, I’m too old for this,’” said Morrison, channeling Danny Glover’s character from the “Lethal Weapon” series. NBA.com

For the first time since training camp opened Oct. 2, coach Terry Stotts walked away from a workout at the practice facility in Tualatin unhappy with his team’s effort and approach. “I thought we did some good things,” Stotts said. “But it was probably the first day we didn’t have the same level of focus or intensity that we’ve had throughout the first week of camp. I don’t know whether it’s because we’re flying out ... but there were times I felt we could have been better.” Oregonian

Rivers repeatedly called for Green to get the ball in both games of the trip to help him get his confidence and rhythm. The consensus so far in camp is that Green is the Celtics’ X-factor, a hungry, talented, and versatile player who was a starter for years in Oklahoma City and is accustomed to carrying a portion of the offensive load. The Celtics were robbed of seeing him with a full training camp last season because of his condition, and his addition is the equivalent of signing a front-line free agent. “Jeff is very important for us, I try to stress that to him every day,” point guard Rajon Rondo said. “I don’t want to put too much pressure on him but he’s going to be key for us this year. He’s versatile, he can play the [small forward], he can play the [power forward]. I think Jeff is capable of [defending] the [point guard] through the [power forward]. “It’s not just going to be Jeff, but he’s going to play a key role in our success.” Boston Globe

As far as when Howard will actually step on the court, though? It won't happen Wednesday when the Lakers play the Portland Trail Blazers in Ontario. Howard wouldn't say if he'd be ready for the Lakers' preseason game Saturday against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center. "I'm getting there," Howard said. "I'm getting better." But not quite good enough. Howard's participation in five-on-five drills happened in what the Lakers called "limited minutes." Howard said he also needs to improve his conditioning. "I'm trying to get my legs down and get into good shape so I can play," Howard said. "That's my main concern, getting my legs under me." Los Angeles Times

Howard won't play tonight in the Lakers' exhibition game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Ontario, but he was cleared to resume participating in full-contact five-on-five scrimmages for limited minutes. Exactly when the 6-foot-11 center is cleared to scrimmage without limitations remained uncertain, with the Lakers taking a long, slow and cautious approach to readying Howard for the regular-season opener Oct. 30 against the Dallas Mavericks. Los Angeles Daily News

Howard underwent season-ending surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back in April, when he was still with the Orlando Magic. The Lakers acquired him in a blockbuster trade in August, confident he would be sound sooner rather than later. When reporters were allowed into the gym near the end of the Lakers' 3 1/2-hour practice Tuesday, they were treated to a vintage display from Howard. He blocked a pair of shots, did a chin-up on the rim and then dunked and made one of two free throws. Later, he was asked about his back and Hill's, too. Howard couldn't say whether he was 100 percent, relying on his training camp mantra that his goal after coming to the Lakers wasn't to play in exhibition games in October but to win an NBA championship in June. Los Angeles Daily News

Lin had always maintained that he was 100 percent healthy, though Rockets coach Kevin McHale had often spoke about Lin’s comeback. On Tuesday, Lin said he expected to be at full speed in time for the Oct. 31 opener, but was not there yet and does not expect to play extensively in the preseason opener. “My speed and my explosiveness and my agility (are not) there yet,” Lin said. “I’m still trying to recover from knee surgery and get to where I was pre-surgery. I probably won’t get to play too much. Hopefully, as the preseason goes on I’ll get to play more and more to build that endurance.” Houston Chronicle

Neither Dirk Nowitzki or the Dallas Mavericks consider the sore right knee that kept him out of Tuesday's preseason game against FC Barcelona Regal as a serious injury. It's more like the Mavs being cautious with their superstar forward, since the regular season starts in three weeks. “Last year I dealt with (knee swelling),’’ Nowitzki said. “We did treatment twice and the swelling didn’t come back. “Hopefully it will respond next week and I can play through the year. It’s unfortunate -- I would have loved to play -- but the preseason is not the time to force a swollen knee.’’ Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Dirk Nowitzki doesn’t want to sound any alarms, but he also wants to be realistic. For the second training camp in a row, his right knee is sore and swollen. Last season, it took nearly two months to get right. Now, it’s back and Nowitzki would not duck the issue about what will happen if this situation lingers. “We’ll see how it responds,” he said. “But the longer we wait, obviously the worse it is. If we have to do something, it’d be better to do it quick. “But we’re still hopeful that this is a temporary thing. If we relax and rest it for a week and see how it goes, then we’ll have a better idea.” “To do something,” means to go in and clean up whatever is inside Nowitzki’s knee that is causing the inflammation. Those things that are done to alleviate wear-and-tear problems usually are relatively minor arthroscopic procedures that only require a few weeks of recovery. Dallas Morning News

Derrick Rose has heard the talk that he would be better off sitting out the entire season to recover from knee surgery, but the Chicago Bulls star said he will return when he is "ready to play." Former NBA All-Star point guard Tim Hardaway, who suffered a torn ACL in 1993 that kept him out of the following season, was one of those voices, recently telling ESPNNewYork.com that Rose should not play at all during the 2012-13 season. ESPN.com

The Mavericks may get more bad injury news, too. Brandan Wright, who missed the preseason opener with a quad strain, played 17 minutes against Barcelona and had four points and six rebounds. But he said after the game he wasn’t close to full strength. “I may have to sit out for a while to get it right,” he said. Dallas Morning News

Dwyane Wade hopes to make his preseason debut Thursday when the Heat plays the Los Angeles Clippers at Beijing’s MasterCard Center. Wade practiced Tuesday in Beijing and said his knee has responded well to a gradual return from offseason surgery. The Heat will practice Wednesday before a decision is made on whether Wade will play Thursday or in the Saturday night/Sunday morning game versus the Clippers. On Tuesday, all signs pointed to him being medically cleared for Thursday. Miami Herald

Less than a quarter into the Bucks' first preseason game and they're already experienced an injury to a key player. Beno Udrih suffered a head injury as he fell to the floor about midway through the first quarter of the Milwaukee Bucks' opening preseason game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Udrih fell backwards and knocked the back of his head against teammate Larry Sanders' knee. He stayed on the floor for a few minutes after the impact as he was tended to by the training staff. Thankfully he didn't seem to exhibit any immediate numbness or other major symptoms. Eventually he got to his feet and walked to the locker room without assistance. Brew Hoop

Los Angeles Lakers forward Jordan Hill said he didn't need surgery to repair the herniated disk in his back. Hill suffered his injury in the Lakers' exhibition game against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night. He is expected to sit out a week, then be re-evaluated. Hill said he cautiously was optimistic he'd be ready to go for the Lakers' season opener Oct. 30 against the Dallas Mavericks. "The doctor said it wasn't serious now, but it could be serious if I don't strengthen my core," Hill said. "So we've got to be careful with it now." ESPN.com

After a minor setback thanks to a strained calf that sidelined him for a week of training camp, Valanciunas is expected in the lineup when the Raptors face the Detroit Pistons in their second exhibition game. “We’re going to throw him out there,” coach Dwane Casey said after Valanciunas went through a full three-hour contact practice at the Air Canada Centre. “We’re going to see how his body feels (Wednesday) after going through (Tuesday) and then we’ll make the decision. Well see how he reacts but we’re anticipating looking at him (against the Pistons).” Toronto Star

In his new role as Spurs director of basketball operations, Sean Marks has one duty that is not listed among his official responsibilities: primary recipient of Tim Duncan’s daily ribbing. Whether it’s verbal or visual, the Spurs captain usually finds a way to take a daily jab at his good friend and former teammate and backup big man. “Can you believe I have to put up with that guy?” Marks joked Tuesday after the Spurs formally announced his appointment as both director of basketball operations and general manager of their D-League team, the Austin Toros. San Antonio Express-News

Amid the launch for the LeBron X, the model that comes with high-end sneaker-compatible software for $270 and without the added technology for $180, James stressed that it is a matter of offering a variety of options. He said the initial focus on a possible $300-plus price was misleading, "because the facts weren't correct." In a private moment with the Sun Sentinel, he said such attention was misplaced. "We have wide ranges of shoes that range from $300 all the way down to $160, $180," he said, with the Nike website currently offering a signature James model at $120. He said there is a place for a high-end model, as well as other price points. "We have great technology and they do a great job of putting out great shoes and things of that nature," he said. "But it just bothers you when things aren't always correct. But other than that, we move on and we get the real facts out there and we live with them." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Dwyane Wade was not kidding when he said he would have big news during the Miami Heat's trip to China. Wednesday, he delivered it in capital letters. While it previously had been widely reported that Wade would be moving to Chinese sportswear company Li-Ning once his sneaker deal with Jordan Brand expired last week, it was formally announced Wednesday in Beijing that the Heat guard actually would have his own division at the company, a footwear and apparel brand called WADE. Wade has been working his way back from July arthroscopic knee surgery, but at the announcement of his new affiliation it was revealed he would wear Li-Ning sneakers in both of the Heat's upcoming exhibitions in China against the Los Angeles Clippers, on Thursday in Beijing and Sunday in Shanghai. The shoes then will be placed for auction in China. South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Four decades after Rick Telander chronicled Brooklyn’s vibrant street basketball scene, he returned to the borough that spawned generations of schoolboy legends (not to mention legendary characters) and finally has an NBA team of its own. On the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated, on newsstands now, is the leader of the next generation, Deron Williams, ushering in the new era of Brooklyn sports while wearing his black and white jersey with retro-fresh logo, designed by Jay-Z himself. Inside Sports Illustrated

The NBA has always been a “players’ league,” but in China, where the biggest names are treated like movie stars, that expression is taken to an extreme. In many cases, basketball fans in China are more concerned about a player’s private and social life than their exploits on the court. Arison says he expects fans to be “camped out” outside the Heat’s hotels in Beijing and Shanghai throughout the week. The star power of the Heat’s players has already helped the team land sponsorships with two Chinese-based company’s, Tsingtao Brewing Company and Peak Sports Goods, and Arison hopes to foster new business relationships this week. “The Heat brand has become a global brand,” Arison said. “A trip like this is great for us from a brand-growth standpoint, but not just or for us — also for Miami. Our jerseys say Miami, and we represent the city. It’s great international branding to take trips like this both for the team and the city.” Miami Herald

Jason Terry turns the tables on his new Boston fans by asking for THEIR autographs. The hilarious second episode of his new NOC series, "Jason Terry is a Celtic." Celtics Blog

We also talked with Johnson about Miller’s passion for the great outdoors. Johnson has yet to go on a hunting trip with Miller, but is kept up to date on all of Miller’s exploits. “I heard he just got a 7-foot bear just the other day. So, I don’t know if I’m going that extreme. I don’t if I’m that extreme yet – maybe a couple ducks or squirrels (first).” Turns out Johnson wasn’t kidding. Just about a week ago, Miller tweeted that he was hunting black bear and blacktail deer in Northern California. He also shared the following picture. Cowbell Kingdom

When former Pistons player and coach Donnis (Donnie) Butcher was diagnosed with an advanced stage of kidney cancer about a month ago, he did what he always did -- he fought. But ultimately he lost his fight Monday when he died at 76. Hartland basketball coach Denny Butcher recalled the life of his father Tuesday. You can marvel at the life of a man who said the toughest player he ever had to guard was NBA legend Jerry West and relished trying to check Oscar Robertson, the only man in NBA history to average a triple-double for a season. And Butcher scored 10 points off the bench for the Knicks the night Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 for the Philadelphia Warriors in 1962. "The stories he told from that time are just amazing," Denny Butcher said. "It was just a different time with doubleheaders at Madison Square Garden and Cobo (Hall)." Detroit Free Press

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