HoopsHype rumors

November 7, 2012 | 07:48 PM ET Update

In fact, Mavs owner Mark Cuban felt betrayed to the point where he openly criticized Kidd’s move, saying it was “wrong,” and adding, “You can’t put a guy’s number in the rafters when he decides he doesn’t want to be there. I’m sure I’ll get over it at some point, but as of now, I wouldn’t put J. Kidd’s number in the rafters.” That appears to be fine with Kidd, who played more of a secondary role in Dallas when the Mavs won their only NBA title in 2011. “That’s his opinion, he’s the owner, that’s how he feels,” Kidd said Wednesday after practice in Greenburgh. “I don’t play for the jersey. I play for my teammates. Cuban owns the team, so he has every right to his opinion. But the one thing he can’t take away is the championship ring.” New York Daily News

Besides losing Kidd, the Mavs saw Jason Terry leave for Boston as a free agent. The new-look Dallas team includes first-time Mavs O.J. Mayo, Darren Collison, Chris Kaman and Elton Brand. “That’s just the business of basketball,’’ Kidd said. “It happens. A lot of championship teams have been broken up before. It’s not something new." But it will be new for Kidd to look across and see Rick Carlisle coaching against him, after spending the last four-plus seasons playing for Carlisle. “It will be good to see Cuban and those guys,” Kidd said. “Maybe I’ll see some of those guys Thursday for dinner. But when it’s game time my job is to try to win the game." New York Daily News

The Sacramento Kings will officially assign second-year forward Tyler Honeycutt to the Reno Bighorns of the NBA D-League tomorrow (November 8th, 2012), according to Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. Honeycutt finished his rookie campaign (2011-12) averaging 1.3 points (.333 FGs, .333 3FGs, .600 FTs) in 15 games off the bench for Sacramento, but has yet to see any action this season. NBA.com

New Orleans Hornets injured shooting guard Eric Gordon will undergo more personalized and intensive rehabilitation workouts this week in Los Angeles to help in his recovery from recurring problems with his right knee, the team announced Wednesday. The Hornets and their medical staff arranged for Gordon to intensify his rehab regimen. The prognosis is still in the four to six week range for his return, according to team officials. Gordon missed all of the preseason and the first three games because of a sore right knee. It's the same knee that forced Gordon to miss all but nine games last season after requiring arthroscopic surgery last February to remove cartilage particles. New Orleans Times-Picayune

Patellar tendinosis is commonly referred to as "jumper's knee." It's a fairly common injury in the NBA, and players such as Dwyane Wade and Kenyon Martin have suffered from it in varying degrees. Jumper's knee is an inflammation in the patellar tendon and can end up being a complete tear of the tendon. Players who suffer from the injury often have problems straightening their leg. The main form of rehab is to just take time away from activity and rest. Three months sounds like a lot of rest. In the meantime, Indiana can keep riding the play of Paul George and David West. West has been the primary scoring option for Indiana through the first four games of the season, averaging a team-high 16.8 points per game on 45.5 percent. George has struggled shooting (40.7 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from the 3-point line), but he is averaging a team-high 10.5 rebounds per game. CBSSports.com

Chad Ford: This isn't the greatest year to have a Top 3 pick in the draft. The consensus Top 3 are Nerlens Noel, Cody Zeller and Shabazz Muhammad. I like all three, but not sure any of them are franchise players the way Anthony Davis was. For the Suns, I would suspect Muhammad might be the most attractive. ESPN.com

Chad Ford: I think there are A LOT of rumors out there about who will be coaching the Lakers in December. Obviously if they continue to struggle like they are ... Mike Brown is gone. The Lakers woes aren't all Mike Brown's fault by the way. There are plenty of structural problems with this team. But just about everyone, including me, believed that the Lakers would very good and that would only happen if the chemistry was right. Right now, it's not right. Not sure Sloan is the right guy (he's so tough and demanding, not sure how the vets would respond) ... D'Antoni is another possibility. ESPN.com

In other words, Jordan may have won six championships, but he was oh-for-scoring-political-points during his Hall of Fame career. Jordan -- as the often-related story goes -- chose commerce over politics in 1990 when he refused to endorse Democrat Harvey Gantt, a black U.S. Senate candidate in his home state of North Carolina. "Republicans buy shoes, too," Jordan famously explained. And that was Allen's point: Whereas Jordan avoided politics for fear of alienating potential customers, James could really separate himself by embracing his role as someone who could not only generate opinions but influence them. "It's great to be a basketball player, but to transcend sports is a big responsibility," Allen said. "If he were able to pull that off -- if he wants to pull that off -- I think that would set him apart." CBSSports.com

According to a donor list aggregated by HoopsHype.com, five current NBA players -- Anthony, Hill, Carter, Nolan Smith and free-agent Baron Davis -- donated to Obama's campaign. Jordan was an exception among NBA ownership types who donated to the President's successful re-election bid, putting up $5,000. Even though commissioner David Stern recently poked fun at Obama's basketball skills -- "He’s not that good," said Stern, the noted Democrat who himself donated $5,000 to Obama -- the obstacles that kept Jordan from voicing political opinions during his playing career appear to have been lifted. But the golden rule of sports is to follow the money, and if you do that when it comes to NBA political donations, the league appears just as divided as the country is. CBSSports.com

Still no word from the New York law firm conducting a review of the National Basketball Players Association's finances and business practices. The report was supposed to have been completed before the start of the regular season. So Billy Hunter remains in his very warm, uncomfortable chair as executive director of the union, and Derek Fisher remains union president despite not having a job to play in the league. There's "no rush" to finish the report, one member of the union’s executive committee told me recently. Especially when lawyers and billable hours are involved. CBSSports.com

Along those lines, several team executives I've chatted with over the past week believe that some semblance of parity actually is going to be a reality this season in the NBA. "It's not quite to the level of the NFL," one exec said, "but I think you're going to see a lot of teams battling around .500." CBSSports.com

But there has been some negative buzz generated recently from the organization when the MSG Network, the company that broadcasts Knicks games, said it will be taking down all posters associated with a recent controversial advertising campaign, ESPN.com reported. One of the ads read: "It's Friday night. You can either go out and attempt to pick up sixes and sevens or stay home and watch (Jason) Kidd dish out dimes." Sure, the Nets' marketing campaign of billboards promoting its first season helps remind New Yorkers that it's no longer a one-team race. But there's no reason to push the envelope this far with such poor taste. The New York Post reported that MSG Network apologized for another ad that took a shot at the Broadway show "Spiderman: Turn off the Dark." It read: "It's Friday night. You can either see a Broadway harness malfunctioning or you can watch real men fly." USA Today

As for a scouting report on the left-handed Obama, Pippen came away impressed. “He’s not an overly aggressive player, but he takes what the defense gives him,” said Pippen. “He’s got a smooth game. He probably used to be a little more aggressive, but obviously he doesn’t want to get hurt.” That certainly wasn’t going to happen if the defense had anything to do about it. “I thought the lanes opened up when Michael Jordan used to drive,” laughed Pippen. “I used to be like, wow. But when I saw the President drive, I thought they were bringing the whole motorcade through the lane it was so wide.” NBA.com

But running up and down on the basketball court with President Obama was obviously a unique opportunity for Pippen that he will never forget. “It was a very special experience to play ball with the current President on Election Day. That says it all,” said Pippen. “You sit there and wonder what the President is doing on a day like this aside from voting. It was very enjoyable for me and something I’ll always remember. I got to see the President in a relaxed atmosphere—no suit, just one of the guys. It’s a story I can tell my kids and have them look back on.” After they finished playing, Obama approached Pippen and told him, “Hey, I’ve got to get you out to the White House.” Pippen’s response: “For sure, Mr. President.” NBA.com

Former Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera told Efe on Wednesday that she is happy on the personal level despite the rumors of her separation from basketball pro Juan Jose “JJ” Barea. “I’m happy. The important thing is that my son is healthy and that Jose Juan is healthy,” the 25-year-old Rivera said after being presented as the new media image of the Hotel San Juan. Hispanically Speaking News

Regarding her relationship with Barea, who plays for the NBA Minnesota Timberwolves, she said they are “working on it.” Rumors of a split between Rivera and Barea have been increasing for several weeks after the pair neglected to mention one another or publish photos of themselves together with their son on the social networks. Hispanically Speaking News

Arvydas Sabonis‘ last season in the NBA was in 2003, after taking a year off from the NBA to play in Europe. During his career he became one of the game’s consummate big men, and even won a gold medal in the 1988 Olympics while competing on behalf of the Soviet Union. Last year, the former Trail Blazer suffered a heart attack playing basketball and was advised by doctors not to engage in such rigorous activity — by the looks of things, Sabonis may have let himself go a bit in his post-playing days. As if doctors could stop him. Last week Sabonis suited up for his hometown Lithuanian team Žalgiris Kaunas as part of a legends game in which they took on a club from Moscow. There are any numbers of reasons that the below highlights are hilarious, among them are Sabonis’ size advantage and apparent lack of conviction on defense. NESN.com

November 7, 2012 | 05:04 PM ET Update

Offensively speaking, it’s been a rocky start to the NBA season for newcomer James Johnson. The Sacramento Kings small forward hasn’t been able to find his rhythm and is shooting a team-low 23 percent from the field through four games. Johnson has looked out of sync when the Kings have had the ball, but his struggles aren’t a major concern for Keith Smart. The Kings head coach believes that the 25-year-old forward is still adapting to his new surroundings. “I don’t think there’s anything ailing him,” Smart said of Johnson following Tuesday practice. “I think it’s all new to him. I’m giving him freedom to function as a wing player and I think that’s maybe something new to him. “I’m saying to him do whatever you need to do and do it decisively,” Smart added. “And I think he’s kind of shell-shocked (with) that, you know?” Cowbell Kingdom

Garnett gave Booker the autograph, and watching Garnett giving back to his community during his early years in the NBA encouraged Booker to follow the same path when he entered the league. The past two summers, Booker has hosted a weekend-long charity basketball tournament on the same court as Garnett once did – even though Mauldin is about 50 miles from Booker’s hometown of Whitmire. Booker also now shares the same agent as Garnett, Andy Miller, so he doesn’t have the same problem speaking to a 36-year-old, future Hall of Famer that he continues to admire. “I talk to him now,” Booker said with a laugh. “He was my idol growing up, so it’s always different listening to your idol. It’s a big thing for me, with him being from South Carolina and me being from South Carolina. And me growing up, watching him play.” Washington Post

Billy King: I think after 20 games, that gives you an idea of where you're going to be. I don't think we are in a panic mode defensively but we know we got to get better at it. Key to playing Miami is you can't put them on the foul line and you better not turn the ball over because they'll get out and run. They're looking to push the ball. NetsDaily

Billy King: At this point, I don't think we've got a 'decisive advantage' because we're not clicking yet. But I do feel with Joe and Deron ... and Avery talked about this, Joe, Deron and Brook are taking the most shots because they are the most gifted offensive players we have and then get other guys doing their rolls. I think that's why New York has been doing so well, because they understand who they need to ride offensively and who to get the ball to. Those guys are doing their jobs very well. When you have a system and players buy in and believe it, you can cover up weaknesses of guys that wouldn't be as strong. But I think every player can be a good defensive player by effort. They may not be quick. They may not be athletic, but if they give effort and you run your system right. I played one of the great defensive coaches in Coach K. We had guys who weren't good defenders individually the system allowed them to be a good team defensively. What it comes down to is effort and mentality and that's we got to develop, the effort and mentality on the defensive end. NetsDaily

Monroe has faced a lack of attention since he was drafted, with temperamenal but explosive big man DeMarcus Cousins always getting more of the attention. Monroe, for his part, thinks that the only way he's going to wind up getting the attention he probably deserves is if he improves and the team starts winning. "I have to continue to improve. Winning takes the front end of any sport. You won't ever get that attention until you become a good player on a winning team. So I focus on winning and trying to improve." CBSSports.com

Monroe's left-handed hook is his go-to, something he learned at arguably the best big-man school in the country, Georgetown. "[The hook] is something that I've been able to use my whole life, basically," Monroe said. "It's something I really improved on at Georgetown, working on it so much. I'll never go away from it, it's something I'll always count on." So what makes for a great hook? "Just positioning. Positioning your body, full extension, the things you read about. It may sound crazy, but it's the simple things, just being fundamental with it." CBSSports.com

The small forward acquired by the Jazz in an offseason trade was 8-for-22 in three games, scoring 19 points, making 1-of-8 three-pointers and shooting just two free throws. But Williams, who scored 21 points in the Jazz’s season-opening win over Dallas, said Wednesday that he is not in a slump. "I’ve been in slumps before, man," Williams said. "I don’t feel like I’m anywhere near that." Salt Lake Tribune

Obviously, Dirk Nowitzki + Bruce Springsteen + karaoke was destined to be a winning formula from the idea's conception, but the fact that Dirk very clearly doesn't even have a passing familiarity with the lyrics of "Born in the USA" makes this a championship-level performance. My best guess at transcribing Dirk's attempt: Bored down in the dead mouse style ANALYSIS: Pretty close ("Born down in the dead man's town"). So far, off to a good start. Mleh vlah Carolina he null hair heeeenh ANALYSIS: OK, we got kind of sidetracked here ("The first kick I took was when I hit the ground"). Still a couple of lines left in the opening verse to get back on target, though. Very nut, hazy preach of what ANALYSIS: We still haven't located the thread ("You end up like a dog that's been beat too much"), but we've got the general rhyme scheme and tone back, which is good. Seldom chuh, ha, hoof duh, don't you cover it up now ANALYSIS: Really rough start ("Till you spend half your life just covering up") but a strong finish. Yahoo! Sports

November 7, 2012 | 03:41 PM ET Update

Losing Granger, a former All-Star, will cause the Pacers to adjust their style of play, but veteran forward David West says finding out the length of time he’ll be out of action actually allows the team to focus in harder on winning games. “Obviously you lose a guy like Danny who gives you 18-20 points a game it’s a huge blow,” West told HOOPSWORLD. “But we’ve got to be professional about it. We can focus on the guys we have now. There’s no more speculation on whether or not he will be back soon. “We were kind of on the fence of whether or not he’d be able to get back soon or not. But now that we know he’s not going to be around for a few months we’ve got to make some adjustments. Other guys have to step up. But we’ve got to continue our approach. We’ve been doing this thing collectively. We feel confident about the guys we have here.” HoopsWorld

The NBA mandates that every team in the league hold a seminar for its players on the business of basketball. The class covers things like ticket pricing, team operations and league offerings, such as health insurance. To satisfy the requirement, the head of each business unit in the Wizards organization made a presentation to the team last week during an hour-long session led by Ed Tapscott, the team’s director of player development. To make it fun and to encourage the players to pay attention, Tapscott gave a quiz at the end, complete with prizes. Naturally, John Wall got all of the questions right, and was rewarded with two courtside seats for a future game. “He cheated,” Trevor Booker told me when I asked about Wall’s victory. “I got them all right too, but I cheated. I didn’t get a prize, because I admitted that I cheated. I’m an honest man.” Even while cheating? “Even while cheating,” he said, with a straight face. Washington Post

Emeka Okafor and Earl Barron shared similar suspicions of ungentlemanly conduct. “It’s called the World Wide Web,” said Barron, when I asked how Wall was able to cheat. “Courtesy of Google,” Okafor chimed in from the next locker over. “But he’s from Kentucky, so I’m not saying nothing.” It was a subtle shot at Wall’s former coach, John Calipari, and his less-than-sparkling reputation. Harsh words coming from a U-Conn man. Washington Post

The Nets are strongest at point guard (Williams) and center (Brook Lopez), the two positions where the Heat have been weakest. In Joe Johnson, the Nets have a strong, skilled shooting guard who will challenge Dwyane Wade at both ends of the court. And in Wallace, the Nets have a muscular, agile forward who can wrestle with James. None of this is a coincidence. “My thought was looking at Miami, because they were the team,” said Billy King, the Nets’ general manager, who added, “I had to build a team that I thought could compete.” New York Times

Fans of NBA player Chris Paul are in for a treat with the release of his 6th signature sneaker, the CP3 VI. Paul & Jordan Brand launched things off at Hollywood hot spot Lure this past Saturday, inviting family members, west coast tastemakers, teammates—including Lamar Odom, DeAndre Jordan, Willie Green, Caron Butler and Blake Griffin—and list of celebrities to help bring in the celebration. of those making appearances Khloe Kardashian, recording artist Jason Derulo, actors Jaleel White, Lance Gross and comedian Affion Crockett. VIBE

November 7, 2012 | 02:11 PM ET Update

As the Mavs prepare to entertain the Raptors tonight at 7:30 at American Airlines Center, Carter also said he wouldn't mind his career going full circle so he could play against for Toronto and retire a Raptor. "If the opportunity presents itself,'' the 35-year old Carter said. "You talk about playing basketball, I would love to play there. "I know the court, I know my way around, so I'd feel comfortable, for sure.'' Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Cajasol Sevilla added for the next month Robert Dozier. The American player with French passport was waived by the Heat during the training camp and decided to return to Europe. Sportando

Cavaliers center Tyler Zeller sustained a left cheek contusion with 5:39 remaining in the fourth quarter of Monday night’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers. He did not return to play and X-rays taken at the Staples Center were negative. He traveled with the team to San Francisco following the game and was re- examined at Stanford Hospital and Clinics, where a CT scan revealed a non-displaced fracture of his left orbital bone in his cheek. Sulia

Rookie Darius Miller will start in place of Rivers, who had his left index finger taped on his non-shooting hand during the shootaround. Williams wouldn't elaborate on Rivers' injury other than to say he injured it at practice. "I really don't know the specifics on it yet, but it's nothing too serious," Rivers said. "I don't ever want to sit out a game because this is what I love to do.'' Rivers, who participated in the shootaround, said he thought he was playing but the Hornets made the decision to hold him out. "Whenever they want me back, I will love to play,'' Rivers said. New Orleans Times-Picayune

It continues to be a great mystery just what kind of "damage" rests inside of Gordon's right knee, which was cleaned out arthroscopically on Feb. 14 during the lockout-shortened season. The injury cost Gordon all but nine of the 66 games last year. He admitted last week he "sorta" suffered a setback between the time he participated in the U.S. Olympic Team trials in Las Vegas in early July and the time he reported for training camp on Oct. 1. What kind of setback hasn't been disclosed. And we don't know exactly what the still unidentified physican Gordon visited last week in Chicago discovered in his examination. All we know is Gordon still hasn't seen the floor. New Orleans Times-Picayune

You know you'll be hearing from Michael on this like you did when you criticized him as an NBA executive. Barkley: I'm pretty sure I will. I love Michael. Michael is one of my great friends. But I also can't get on radio or television and say he does a great job as a GM. Clearly, he was upset with me but I have to be honest at my job. SI.com: What's it like to be cursed out by M.J.? Barkley: We are cool now but it proved the point I was trying to make: Just because you are friends with someone, you don't tell them what they want to hear all the time. That was what I was thinking to myself when I was getting S.O.B.'d to death. I was like: 'This actually proves my point.' He wants all of his friends to agree with him and that's one of the reasons he is in the predicament he is in now. SI.com

The National Basketball Association has signed a three-year exclusive carriage deal in India with MSM's sports channel Sony Six, which launched in April. ESPN Star Sports was the NBA's broadcast partner in India until 2010. After that agreement expired, the NBA split the rights between Taj Television's Ten Sports and MSM's Sony Pix. Variety.com

"I work in a business where you just can’t say anything you want to say,’’ Williams said Wednesday after the Hornets' shootaround. "What I said was inappropriate and you have to deal with the consequences. My wife and I tried to turn it in a positive for my kids, but it’s unfortunate that it happened. You just try to move forward.’’ Before Saturday’s game, Williams didn’t appear happy that Davis could miss several games because he must complete a series of tests to determine if he’s fit to return under the league’s concussion policy. "The better he feels in the next couple of days, it helps the situation,'' Williams said before Saturday's game at the United Center against the Chicago Bulls. "But when you're dealing with the brain, I guess what's happening in football it's impacted everybody. So he got touched up a little bit last night and I'm sure that happens a lot in basketball. It's just that now you treat everybody like they have on white gloves and pink drawers. It's just getting old, but it's just the way the league is now.'' New Orleans Times-Picayune

New Orleans Hornets Coach Monty Williams said Wednesday his public comments critical of the NBA’s concussion policy were inappropriate and it was unfortunate that it happened. The NBA fined Williams $25,000 Tuesday because of his comments made prior to the Hornets’ game against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday. Washington Post

The Wizards have scheduled a 1978 NBA title replica ring giveaway for their April 6 game against the Pacers. I don’t know what exactly you do with a replica NBA championship ring — wear it, I guess — but that sure sounds like something you’d want sitting on your shelf of Wizards keepsakes. The ring, of course, will commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Bullets’ title season. Washington Post

I knew that Kevin Seraphin had a large tattoo on his back. But I wasn’t sure what it meant, so last week I finally asked him. Which is how I learned that this elaborate design was actually the first (and only) tattoo of his life. “The tattoo guy was like, seriously?” Seraphin told me. “You know what you’re doing? For your first tattoo, a big one like that? I was like yeah.” Washington Post

November 7, 2012 | 10:21 AM ET Update

The Indiana Pacers announced that Danny Granger received an injection Tuesday to treat left patellar tendinosis. The procedure was performed by Dr. James Andrews in Gulf Breeze, Fla. Team medical personnel are looking at a recovery time of approximately three months. NBA.com

During camp with the Blazers, Morrison sounded reluctant about the idea of going back overseas if things didn't work out in Portland, but he has apparently softened that position. Morrison tested the foreign waters during the NBA lockout in 2011 with stints in Serbia and Turkey and shot better than 50% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc in both countries. The 28-year-old former Gonzaga star then returned to the United States and was a standout at the Vegas Summer League, averaging 20 points a game for the L.A. Clippers and routinely promtping MVP chants from fans. But his battle back to the league hit another road block when the Blazers let him go at the end of camp. "(At this point), Adam is open to whatever is the best move for his career, but he belongs in the NBA and that's his goal," Ames said. "If we don't have anything (from Europe) over the next few weeks, Adam will consider the D-League for call-up opportunities." Sportando

Panathinaikos has decided to move in a different direction not only by replacing Hilton Armstrong, but also by signing a power forward who could play also as a “3”. A player who fits this profile and is being examined by coach Argiris Pedoulakis is Dajuan Summers. EuroHoops.net

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Warrick is the second-oldest player on the Hornets, but he thinks he can extend his career a few more seasons, if he stays healthy. And every time the Sixers appear on the schedule, the game will mean something to Warrick. "Even if it's not in Philly, you know your family and friends will get a chance to watch," Warrick said. "When the schedule comes out, it's one of those games, you always look at it." Philadelphia Inquirer

Kidd accepted the Knicks’ mini-mid-level exception in a three-year, $9 million deal in July, eschewing a similar Dallas deal. Cuban expressed his anger at Kidd on Aug. 21 on Dallas radio. “I was more than upset,’’ Cuban said. “I thought he was coming [back]. I was [ticked]. J-Kidd is a big boy, he can do whatever he wants. But you don’t change your mind like that. I’m sure I’ll get over it at some point, but as of now, I wouldn’t put J-Kidd’s number in the rafters.” Contacted yesterday, Cuban wrote in an email, “[J-Kidd] can do whatever he wants. I have no control over it.’’ New York Post

According to Jackson, he was shouting to Blake about "making your open shots." Another source says t Jackson was actually peppering his message with personal expletives. In the final minute of the game, Blake began firing back, shouting at Jackson from across the court, then actually approaching his courtside seat and cursing directly at him after fouling out with 29.2 seconds remaining. It was such a stunning scene, the personable Blake angrily confronting a member of one of the Lakers' first families, that the Lakers announcers gave a blow-by-blow on television. Said analyst Stu Lantz: "Are you kidding me?" Said play-by-play announcer Bill Macdonald: "That didn't look like a friendly conversation." Added Lantz: "Not at all, if you walk across the floor to talk to someone in the first row. But also you have to wonder what the fan was saying to him." Los Angeles Times

Lance Jackson and his father reached out to Blake in hopes of clearing the air, and Blake reached back. They met Tuesday in an office at the Lakers practice facility, where Blake apologized, and the apology was accepted. Said Blake: "I didn't have to do it, but they didn't have to reach out as well, and it shows what kind of character they have." Said Lance Jackson: "Steve seems like a great person, it all happened at the heat of the moment." Los Angeles Times

Bryant expressed optimism the past two days of treatment and rest will make his foot feel "90 percent" when the Lakers (1-3) play tonight at Utah (1-2). Brown expressed optimism he'll reduce Bryant's current playing time, which has hovered at an average of 37 minutes through four games. "I want to try to really be conscious of Kobe's minutes, Brown said. "What I can do is as we go on, is continue to be more conscious of not throwing him out there." Daily Breeze

Bryant posted 40 points in 43 minutes in the Lakers' loss Friday to the Clippers. Even though Bryant played only 32 minutes in the Lakers' win Sunday over Detroit, Brown put him back in as the Lakers nursed a 24-point lead with less than nine minutes remaining. He stayed in for another four minutes and 41 seconds. Brown said he believed both scenarios would lead to a win. "I feel fine," said Bryant, who's averaged 26.8 points on 59.7 percent shooting. "I'm physically able to play a big bulk of minutes. I'm in really tip-top shape so my body can handle that. But if I don't need to play that many minutes, all the better." Daily Breeze

But Kevin Garnett has been seeing progress as the Celtics prepare for Wednesday night’s game against the Washington Wizards. “I think, as far as our system and guys getting our system, we’re still a work in progress,” Garnett said after practice Tuesday. “Continuity-wise, as a whole, I don’t think we’re where we want to be, obviously. But, you know, we put in a new system, new guys. You’ve got to expect there’s going to be some type of bumps in the road, and we’re no different from that. Boston Globe

Before the start of this season the Rockets surprised most by acquiring 2012 Sixth Man of the Year James Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder to fill the opening. The team’s starting small forward, Chandler Parsons, believed Harden was the right man for the job from the start but readily admitted to being caught off guard initially by the deal as it happened. “It was crazy,” Parsons told HOOPSWORLD regarding the Harden trade. “I had no idea [the trade] was going down. I knew we always had interest in James and I think it was definitely a good trade for us.” “I’m sure management will make other moves but our core group is now here for a long time,” Parsons added. “We have a lot of talent.” HoopsWorld

“I don’t think we’re rebuilding at all,” Parsons said. “We’re just new. We’re young. It’s just easy for people to say we’re rebuilding because we have a whole new team. But we have so much talent in here. We have a chance to be really good. The more we play with each other and the more we get comfortable, the better we’re going to get.” While Harden has been lighting up opponents with his play on the court, Parsons believes an even bigger impact from his arrival can be seen in the team’s fan base and their attitude toward the franchise. “The fan base has been crazy,” Parsons said. “We had the Rookie Dance Off the other day and there was just so much energy in the building. Our practices are even more competitive. There is definitely more excitement.” HoopsWorld

Rasheed Wallace was holding court late Monday night, not on the court but in the visitors locker room at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Always an adventure when Wallace starts to talk, he finished by explaining a gesture he made after hitting a three-point field goal. “Three to the head — bang, bang, bang,” Wallace said loudly. A few lockers away Marcus Camby shook his head and said with a smile, “Still [bleeping] crazy.” Bergen Record

“I’ve been practicing with guys for a while,” Wallace said, although that didn’t come until the final week. “I’m still getting used to Pablo. He likes that quick dump-off pass. I know the little things he likes to do as far as when it comes to pick-and-rolls. On defense we’re both talking. As far as the language barrier goes, you can still talk with hand signals. I’m not good on my Spanish and I know he’s not good with his English too much, but you can’t go wrong with hand signals.” Bergen Record

“I took off two years from the NBA,” Wallace said. “I didn’t take two years off, period.” Even before the injury-wracked Amar’e Stoudemire returns in mid-December, Woodson will face his first rotation conundrum Friday when the unbeaten Knicks host the Mavericks. Backup center Marcus Camby is expected back just as Wallace’s role looks ready to increase. Where that leaves minutes for Camby is unclear. Wallace hasn’t played in the first half yet. He got garbage time in the first two blowout wins, then entered late in the third quarter Monday with the Knicks already up by 20. He cemented his rotation status with 11 points in 13 minutes. “A lot of guys don’t realize he didn’t walk away from the game because he couldn’t play,” Woodson said. New York Post

Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry had to be helped off the court after suffering an ankle sprain against Oklahoma City on Tuesday. Lowry twisted his right ankle after landing on Thunder forward-centre Serge Ibaka’s foot while going for a rebound in the second quarter. Lowry grimaced as he pounded the floor and had to keep his weight off the foot as he went to the locker-room. Toronto Globe & Mail

Besides having a burst bursa sac in his right elbow, Clippers power forward Blake Griffin is also dealing with a neck strain after a hit in practice Tuesday. But despite the injuries, Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said Griffin will play against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night at Staples Center. "His elbow is a concern," Del Negro said. "His neck is a concern. But Blake is a tough kid. He'll play through it and give us what he can give us." Los Angeles Times

With the Pistons in the midst of four games in five nights, leaving them unable to practice fully until next Tuesday, it is unlikely that Maggette will play until next week. "I'm not putting a guy out there until I see him practice and how he reacts to that," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. "I wouldn't do that. "I won't eliminate it without giving it thought. But typically, in those situations, barring something, unless I see something -- we do have an opportunity to work out and do some different things, shootaround-wise, to get to a gym -- but it's hard for me to be able to give the thumbs-up when you don't see a guy in live time. I just don't believe the first practice is going to be in a game." Booth Newspapers

Stan Van Gundy thinks the NBA’s new flopping rule is going to be a flop. “I think the attempt to try to address it is a good thing but I don’t see the rule having much effect,” said Van Gundy, the former Magic coach who is transitioning this season to broadcasting with NBC Sports Network and Dial Global radio. “First of all, I think the only ones that you will see penalized are very, very egregious flops. I’d be surprise if it even got to one a game, and I think anybody who watches basketball knows that there is far more than one every game. “And I don’t even think this is the NBA’s fault. I just think it’s impossible the way the rule is written where they can ‘crack down’ on it. I think they will make sort of a cursory attempt, and make it look like they are trying to do something about it.” SI.com

“To me it is pretty simple but they won’t do it this way: Leave it to the referees. If you just told referees, ‘Look, you have a guy flopping and don’t give him any calls, period.’ That would stop it in a heartbeat. It’s natural selection. Once it does not work anymore, it’ll disappear. A $500 fine will not have much of an effect. What will have an effect is a guy not getting any calls anymore. Once he stops getting calls, all of sudden the behavior disappears. But they don’t want to handle it that way so I don’t think anything will really come off this.” SI.com

Don’t despair. There’s hope for the future of NBA officiating, even if it will be much less colorful. Just as the Development League is a great way for teams to mold young players, it also helps refs get ready for the pace and physicality of the NBA game. “The D-League has been a real key ingredient to the training program, and especially this program for the last three or four years,” said Mike Bantom, executive vice president for NBA referee operations. “We’ve been bringing up the top six or seven D-League refs to work preseason games. Depending on how they perform at that they might do some regular-season games, too. “They’re definitely more prepared because we use the same mechanics and the same rules, with the exception of some things we experiment with in the D-League.” San Antonio Express-News

The fact most players are unaware two more women are working games this season proves how far we’ve come the last 16 years. It was 1997 when Violet Palmer and Dee Kantner broke a barrier by becoming the first female officials in any of the four major North American sports leagues. “I think the ladies coming need to pay homage to Violet for her paving the way for them,” Spurs veteran Stephen Jackson said. “To me, Violet’s done a great job. Honestly, she does a better job than some men. She gets the utmost respect from me and she showed the NBA they could bring women in and they could get the job done.” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has never met a ref he wouldn’t berate, regardless of gender. His rule for evaluating any official is simple. “I think all anybody cares about is competency,” he said. “Gender has nothing to do with it. Competency speaks for itself.” San Antonio Express-News

Micky Arison: Congratulations to President Obama. Time to unite, time to compromise, time to work together to solve the nations problems. Twitter @MickyArison

Nuggets coach George Karl didn't reveal his choice, but offered some criticism of the lengthy election season and the negative tone. "It lasted too long this year," Karl said. "The election, the whatever you want to call it, the trash. I just want to turn off the TV and commercials now. "They're really testing, but I guess that's what wins elections." Detroit Free Press

The two joked about that series, and Ellis also spoke highly of the current Denver coach. "George Karl is a Hall of Fame coach," said Ellis, who now lives in South Bend, Ind. "He's excellent with X's and O's. He's able to find those jewels out there that maybe someone has given up on. He brings them in, and they do great things. "I think they have put together an amazing crew this year. Size and speed, they can defend. Andre Miller is old reliable. Ty Lawson gives you speed at point guard. The issue so far is that they're not used to playing together. I think they're going to make a big run — they could be the best team in the Western Conference." Ellis now calls games for ESPN while rooting on his alma mater, Notre Dame, one of the nation's top football schools this season. As for hoops, "I'm a basketball junkie. I love the sport," he said. "I love to coach it and teach it, and obviously with what I do with ESPN, I love to call it as well." Denver Post

It's on to Ottawa County Circuit Court for Duane Washington, a former NBA player charged in a September hit-and-run crash along I-96 in Crockery Township. Washington, 44, waived a preliminary examination set for Tuesday, Nov. 6, in Grand Haven District Court and was ordered to stand trial. He is charged with failing to stop at the scene of a serious injury accident, a five-year felony. Booth Newspapers

Estella Vitins, 70, suffered several broken bones in a leg and cuts on her right side after she was struck by a car while walking east on I-96 at about 2 a.m. Sept. 18. Vitins left her Sparta area home the day before and did not return on time, causing others to grow worried about her well-being. Booth Newspapers

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