HoopsHype rumors

October 12, 2012 | 08:07 PM ET Update

Atlanta Hawks shooting guard DeShawn Stevenson apologized to his former teammate, Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams on Twitter on Friday. Stevenson had blasted Williams on the social media site in response to comments Williams made about his ex-teammates laughing after losses during the franchise's final season in New Jersey. "I Talk 2 My X Teammate 2Day And He Told Me That He Wasn't Talking About Me And They Mis-Print What He Said......" Stevenson tweeted Friday. "So I'm A Real Dude And Want 2 Say Sorry 2 Dwill For Spazzing And A Real Dude Would Say Sorry! So Sorry Dwill "Takes Alot 4 A Man 2 Call A Man And Tell Me The Truth!! I Respect That!!" ESPN.com

Stevenson, traded to the Hawks as part of the blockbuster deal that brought shooting guard Joe Johnson to Brooklyn in the offseason, didn't appreciate Williams' comments, and made it known on Twitter, though he didn't call Williams out by name. "I hate Fake Muthaf----- That Quit On team but talk s--- in Espn Mag." Stevenson tweeted. "If u gonna say ppl Quit say Names I Don't Quit I work hard period when u say that my name in it and I work hard I don't quit!!!" "Say Names Put Address on It!!!!" ESPN.com

It sounds like a cliché, but if the results of a TiVo-based research study are to be believed, registered Republicans are very interested in golf. As for registered Democrats, they seem to be partial to cartoons. And Republicans tend to watch N.C.A.A. basketball, while Democrats prefer the National Basketball Association. New York Times

October 12, 2012 | 02:58 PM ET Update

Though he believes he will make the team, he is confident he will be playing somewhere in the NBA regardless if things don’t work out in San Antonio. He is aware numerous teams reportedly are anxious to sign him if he’s released. “I feel I’m in a good situation,” he said. “I worked hard this summer. Every game it’s just about showing everybody what I can do. I’m trying to focus on defense and rebounding, trying to play in the system and soak up as much as I can. "I think I’m going to make it. Until they tell me I’m not, I feel like I’m part of this team.” San Antonio Express-News

Q: Ira, who do you think will take the last two spots the Heat have left? -- Paul, Miami. A: It is a constantly evolving decision. None of the lower-end big men have been particularly impressive, although Mickell Gladness had his defensive moments Thursday against the Clippers. Terrel Harris hardly has distanced himself, while Garrett Temple is somewhat intriguing. At the moment, I still think Josh Harrellson might get the benefit of the doubt up front based on his body of work last season with the Knicks. South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Q: You signed here late. What was the summer like for you, in terms of trying to get back on the radar of NBA teams? Chris Douglas-Roberts: It was a lot of things going on. We were talking with a lot of teams, and actually thought we were going to go to a certain team that I'm not going to name. But things kind of fell through. And because I didn't go there, I passed up on other offers where I could have just signed right away and wouldn't have been in this position. Q: Where you're pretty sure you'd have made the team? CDR: Yeah. The situations -- there were two situations I passed up -- I could have walked into a deal. It wasn't a situation like this, but we were kind of waiting for the other thing to unfold, and it kind of fell through. And it put me in this position I'm in now. But I'm definitely a firm believer that things happen for a reason. ESPN.com

Kaman showed a variety of offensive skills in Europe. He posted up and powered to the basket, and he drifted out and sank the midrange jump shot. He got to the free throw line, too. Kaman also has taken a liking to Dirk Nowitzki, whom he invited on Kaman’s next hunting trip. Kaman is a devoted outdoorsman who enjoys shooting big things. “He said he’s going to go, but I think he was very reluctant at first,’’ Kaman said of Nowitzki’s initiation into the outdoor life. “I don’t think he wanted to take my invitation, but he said if that’s what makes me happy, he’ll do it. So I’m going to keep him true to his word.’’ Dallas Morning News

Though Smith is billed more as a natural scorer with a long-range shooting touch, at 6-foot-3, he'll have difficulty distinguishing himself among the influx of more seasoned players Boston already has at the shooting guard position. Boston is using the preseason to see if Smith can be molded into a backup point guard, and even though he didn't play major minutes in either of the first two preseason games, his time on the floor revolved around facilitating the offense. Doc Rivers said he's still looking for Smith to be more consistent, though he understands he's trying to lead a squad of veterans, while going head-to-head with Rondo in practice. "[Smith hasn't] been consistent yet. Listen, I wouldn’t want to have to guard Rondo everyday in practice," said Rivers. "That would be no fun. I think Jamar would probably echo that. I don’t know if he’s a point or not -- and that’s one of the things we’re working and we’ll find out. ESPN.com

Andrea Bargnani has not looked right in Toronto’s first two pre-season contests. The team’s leading scorer has a pretty reasonable explanation as to why: “I’m still not 100%,” Bargnani told the media on Thursday, ahead of Friday’s game against Detroit. “Everybody is a little fatigued right now, but we’re still in training camp and we’re going to be all right for the (regular season opener against Indiana on Halloween). Toronto Sun

“I feel comfortable to play basketball, maybe they are a little bit stronger than me, but it’s just a question of time.” Teammate Andrea Bargnani agreed. “He can run the floor pretty well, he’s a pretty smart guy, so he’s going to adjust his game and he’s going to learn his defensive principles soon. There’s plenty more game in him,” Bargnani said. “He needs time.” Casey said he doesn’t know yet whether Valanciunas will get more court time on Friday against Detroit. “We can’t just throw him out there and let him go," the coach said, adding it will be up to the medical staff. Toronto Sun

"I really don't know why the swelling keeps coming back," the 34-year-old Nowitzki said Friday. "I can't really finger-point it. Maybe there's something floating in there that shouldn't be floating in there. We'll only know that for sure if we do a scope, but as for now, we haven't. I'm just going to keep working this weekend and see how the knee responds." The Mavericks' medical staff, headed by Team USA athletic trainer Casey Smith, will monitor Nowitzki's knee on a day-to-day basis. If the swelling returns, Nowitzki said "we'll have to look at something else," referring to the arthroscopic procedure to clean out the cause of the swelling. ESPN.com

But there is still opposition to the arena planned in the South Downtown area of Seattle. By the Mariners. The baseball team. Which is racking up bad will among Seattle sports fans with said opposition. So Crosscut gave the Mariners’ CEO Howard Lincoln a chance to explain why they oppose a new arena in the same neighborhood as their own Safeco Field — the reasons are parking and traffic. NBCSports.com

Q: Isn’t the problem of seasonal overlaps something that can be negotiated and managed? Waldman: We’ve looked at NBA and NHL master schedules. Depending on playoffs, you’d typically have six to 12 conflicts annually if both teams were here and made the playoffs. Roughly half the teams in each sport make the playoffs, so that would occur roughly half the time. We think it would be on average three regular season games and three playoff games for each sport. The only place in the country that has all four teams in buildings close together is Philadlphia. They also have 22,000 surface parking spaces there, and the sports sites are not near their port, it’s away from downtown traffic, and is served by two major freeways and four major on and off ramps. Nor does Philadelphia have railroad tracks on one side and water on the other. Crosscut

The difficulty is other events. The traditional wisdom on arenas is that you need 200-plus events to be successful; Chris Hansen has been saying 200-250 events a year. [Note: In an April interview with SPNW, Hansen said the arena, in the absence of an NHL team, could work financially with 120 event dates.] It’s the concerts, circuses, ice shows, trade shows and everything else that is typical to most arenas that’s the biggest problem. As many as a third to a half of our games can be conflicted. You start to get in a fight every Friday night with a concert versus a ballgame. Crosscut

How many direct conversations have you had with Hansen? Lincoln: Three. A breakfast meeting in early December with Chris and Wally Walker. Then we asked for second meeting in May in this confrence room, and then I also gave Chris a stadium tour and lunch in the owners' suite. We made it very clear at breakfast that this (arena location) isn’t going to work, asking them if they understood what the traffic issues are. Quite frankly, they hadn’t even thought about it; at least, that’s the impression I got. If they thought about it, they didn’t think it was any big deal. I told them we’d be happy to talk more about this. Crosscut

Did Hansen respond? Lincoln: I’m not going to say they said no, but I don’t remember a response. When we met in May, his attitude was that he doesn’t see it the way we do. I’m not bad-mouthing him, he just doesn’t see it the same way. A Seattle Times editorialist said we were arrogant for not meeting with Chris, but we met on three occasions. All have been pleasant, candid, and informative. But at the end of the day, he wants the arena at the end of our parking garage, and we don’t think it will work. There’s nothing to negotiate. Crosscut

“The Mindy Project” — it’s not just that show on after “New Girl.” It stars that girl from “The Office.” Yea, Mindy Kaling, that’s her. This week’s episode featured NBA players Amar’e Stoudemire, Baron Davis and Danny Granger hanging out in a club. You need to really skip ahead to the 3:00 mark to get to the good stuff, like the guys talking about romantic comedies and the like. You know, exactly what you want to know about Baron Davis. NBCSports.com

October 12, 2012 | 10:03 AM ET Update

Suns president Lon Babby wasn't thrilled about trading Nash to the Lakers, calling it a "basketball decision" that was better than losing Nash for nothing. Phoenix will now have significant salary-cap space next summer, giving them the ability to sign one or two major free agents. "My first reaction was I can't do that," Babby said. "As time went on, [Suns owner] Robert Sarver was really good and said, 'We have to make a basketball decision that's best for our franchise.' " Yahoo! Sports

On Tuesday, it was time for Cuban to respond and he landed a not-so-subtle body shot. “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 before the Mavericks’ exhibition game against FC Barcelona Regal. “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.’ Dallas Morning News

When asked about Iguodala’s comments, Collins took the high road. “My feeling is I had a wonderful two years with ‘Dre,” Collins said. “I look back and I think he made me a better coach. “The thing I feel great about is in the two years we were together, before I took the job I thought long and hard to talk to Jerry Colangelo and Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) about having ‘Dre on the world championship team, and what I thought he would bring to that team. “Our first year, we were plus-14 wins and he was second-team All-Defense. Our next year, we go to the seventh game of the conference semifinals, and he makes the All-Star team and wins a gold medal. So I feel great about our time together.” CSNPhilly.com

“Everything is not going to be perfect,” Turner responded when asked if he knew of Iguodala’s displeasure. “I think ‘Dre, whether he was frustrated or not, he still came out and played every night. He played hurt. You can’t really knock his opinion. It is his opinion and I am not going to knock him for how he feels because that is a personal thing. “At the end of the day, it is about what the team needs from you and what the coach asks you to do. In Andre’s defense, he always did both. Last year, he was an All-Star, won a gold medal and got us to the second round.” CSNPhilly.com

In 2010-11 they lost in the first round, in 2011-12 they made it to the second round, and in 2012-13 he sees more progress on the horizon. “Oh for sure,” Holiday said to HOOPSWORLD when asked if the 76ers can contend. “I think definitely because of what happened last year and what people saw. Heart goes a long way and just being able to fight. The pieces that we added have everything that we want and are good teammates to make us a good team “I think the pieces we added are going to take us to that next level, especially with the shooters we have. We struggled with scoring last year, but I don’t think we will this year. And, we have one of the best big men in the league. I think we’re on the right path.” HoopsWorld

Parker played in China the last two seasons and says he’s preparing for another season there in December. What was his response to Kobe bringing up his name on Wednesday? “I’m lost for words. It makes me blush. For my name to still come out of that man’s mouth? It makes me blush,” he told Hard 2 Guard. Larry Brown Sports

Though Parker termed playing with Kobe “overrated,” he respects the five-time champion’s game. He just doesn’t like his personality. “You can’t knock the man’s legacy, you can’t knock what he’s done in basketball. His work ethic is tremendous. There’s not an ounce of hate in my blood whatsoever. The guy can play basketball — you’ve seen that throughout his career. “What I don’t like about him is the man that he is. His personality. How he treats people. I don’t like that side of Kobe Bryant. Larry Brown Sports

“I had a workout with the Lakers, beat all the guards out for the starting position, earned a spot on the team. Midway through the first season, I tried to at least have a conversation with Kobe Bryant — he is my teammate, he is a co-worker of mine, I see his face every day I go in to work — and I tried to talk with him about football. He tells me I can’t talk to him. He tells me I need more accolades under my belt before I come talk to him. He was dead serious.” Larry Brown Sports

Parker described Kobe as someone who kept to himself. He says while he was on the Lakers, he never saw Kobe make an attempt to develop any kind of friendship with any one of his teammates. “On road trips, he traveled with his security guards. Those were the guys he talked to. On the team plane, he sat in the back of the plane by himself.” Larry Brown Sports

“The reason I wasn’t a Laker after my second year is because I didn’t bow down to [Kobe]. I didn’t kiss his a–. I wasn’t kissing his feet. Quite frankly, towards the end of the second season, I stopped passing him the ball. I stopped giving him the ball. I started looking him off.” Larry Brown Sports

Parker's never explained what he meant by that, but now tells us ... Kobe "told me out of his own mouth that I couldn't talk to him. That my accolades under my belt weren't deserving enough for me to talk to him." He also says Kobe didn't talk to most of his teammates. TMZ.com

World Peace seems confused this time for another reason. With Steve Nash dazzling Lakers fans with his no-look passes, crossover dribbles and quick understanding of the Lakers' offense, World Peace has trouble processing it all. "Half of the time, I don't get back on defense after we just scored," World Peace said. "I'm wondering what just happened." And that's why World Peace believes Nash should put on an exhibition. "Nash should do a Vegas magic show," the Lakers forward said. "They should put his picture on the Flamingo hotel with a picture of him posing spinning the ball with his tongue out. There could be a bunch of strippers around him naked covering themselves with a hat." Los Angeles Times

Upon hearing about World Peace's Vegas vision, Nash simply shook his head. Just as World Peace struggled processing Nash's dizzying offensive moves, the Lakers guard had trouble processing World Peace's logic. "I don't know how he comes up with this stuff," Nash said with a smile. "He needs a show desperately." Los Angeles Times

Living in a hotel near the Bulls' practice facility, Kyrylo Fesenko recently wanted to check out downtown Chicago. So the affable Ukrainian, who never has had a driver's license,did what he has done at his two previous NBA stops: He took a cab. One small problem: The Chicago area is a bit larger than Salt Lake City and Indianapolis. After spending $140 for a ride, Fesenko found new motivation. "I'm actually thinking about getting my license now," Fesenko said. "I was like, '$70 each way? Uh, uh, that's not going to happen.'" Chicago Tribune

Fesenko is getting serious. Well, at least in the moments he isn't sticking his hairbrush into the phalanx of microphones surrounding Kirk Hinrich after a recent game. "Don't get me wrong: I will never, ever stop joking. That's who I am," Fesenko said. "But now, I just understand more when to joke. When it's time to do hard work and when it's time to have fun. "In that case, I really adore Coach Thibs (Tom Thibodeau). He's really hard on us. But when we have a water break, he's OK to crack a couple of jokes. It's pretty cool. I'm watching him and trying to absorb everything I can. A defensive-minded player and a defensive-minded coach, what could be better for me?" Chicago Tribune

You already think what you think of him. There's no bending it anymore. And really, the days when changing minds was important to him are long behind him. This is his time now, to spend as he wants. To do as much as he can. To say what he wants to say. To finish on his own terms. "Normally it's not weird for a guy to talk about [retirement] when a guy's pretty much got it made up in his mind that these are going to be his last two years," teammate Antawn Jamison said. "It's just weird that you hear it from Kobe. This is guy who is invincible. He never shows weakness, never shows his card at all. "You wouldn't expect him, of all people, to say that at all. But this is the new Kobe. It's kind of fun, actually." ESPN.com

There are people who will read Bryant's comments and find them cruel or mean-spirited. But read 'em again. The part about Brown being one of the best defensive big men he has ever seen. He meant every word. "He was really quick. He understood defensive concepts," Bryant said of Brown. "He might have actually showed Andrew [Bynum] a few things, especially on screen-and-roll coverages and one-on-one defense." ESPN.com

Any NBA star overcome with a sense of entitlement ought to listen to Christian's story. He lived in fear last season during his second season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, worried about the safety of his family, calling home every day. He said his mother and a sister recently relocated to London, but his father and various brothers are still in the Congo, unable to obtain visas. (Eyenga doesn't know all his siblings. Polygamy is legal in his homeland. "My dad, he has five wives," Eyenga said. "That's too many. Just one will be enough for me.") Orlando Sentinel

Dwight Howard knew something was wrong when he couldn't feel his left leg. His back hurt him for most of last season, but when his leg went dead and he couldn't perform a simple calf raise, he decided it was time to seek medical help. "I had some issues early in the season and I just kept playing through it, some back spasms," Howard said Thursday in his comments about the extent of his back injury since he was acquired by the Lakers from the Orlando Magic on Aug. 10. "I really didn't say anything. With all the stuff that was going on, I just didn't want anybody thinking that I was trying to quit on my team or anything. Instead of sitting out, I just wanted to keep playing and how everybody I was still with the team." Los Angeles Daily News

MarShon Brooks, the Nets’ promising young sixth man, could miss most of the preseason schedule because of tendinitis in his right foot. Brooks wore a walking boot on Thursday and watched from the sidelines while his teammates played a simulated game. He is expected to wear the boot for another day or two and will then need another couple days of rehabilitation work. New York Times

All-NBA point guard Tony Parker was still crowing Thursday about coaching the Spurs to their 101-99 victory over the visiting Hawks on Wednesday night. Popovich turned the team over to Parker — who had the night off — after he pestered his coach with advice after Atlanta made things close in the waning seconds. After the Hawks tied the score at 99, Parker drew up a play for rookie Nando De Colo, who nailed the winning jumper. “It’s easy to do Pop’s job,” Parker said. “He’s a little bit overpaid, I think. That’s just my opinion.” San Antonio Express-News

Doc Rivers said as much after yesterday’s Celtics practice. Though he wasn’t aware of this latest contretemps, he allowed that he’s always found Van Gundy entertaining, if not always correct. “When he made good points, I thought it was interesting and I got a good laugh out of it,” said Rivers. “When he made bad points, I thought it was interesting and I got a laugh out of it.” As to the assertion by Van Gundy that the league has a tight rein on those who work its games, Rivers has seen no evidence of such. “I did four full years for ABC — Al (Michaels) and I were the No. 1 team — and three years for TNT, and I can tell you I never got a call or heard someone say such and such is mad at you,” he said. “I just did my job. Boston Herald

“But I had my own governor, meaning that I wanted to celebrate the game. But I had to tell the truth, and that’s how I kept it. To me, the game should be an enjoyable experience, and that’s how I looked at it. “When Stan was right, I thought he was right. When he was wrong, I thought he was wrong. I mean, listen, we all have our opinions. Sometimes they’re right; sometimes they’re wrong. Just like when I give mine, it’s not always right.” Boston Herald

On Wednesday, the Nuggets reached out to the community, holding a scrimmage for the students, faculty and staff of Gateway High School. More than 60 Gateway students were at the theater July 20 — two students were shot, one fatally. Gateway, about a mile from the Century Aurora 16 theater, served as a meeting place for family and friends to receive updates about the shootings. "I drive by the area every once in a while. It's such a tough thing to get over — it's going to take time," said Karl, who makes his permanent home in Denver. "And when you live in the community, I'm sure there are constant reminders. ... We'll pay our respects toward what happened, and hopefully we can help each other get through it." Denver Post

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