HoopsHype rumors

November 15, 2012 | 08:27 PM ET Update
November 15, 2012 | 06:27 PM ET Update

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed free agent guard Shaun Livingston. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released. "We are obviously familiar with what Shaun brings both on and off the court based on his previous time here and we’re confident that he will be a positive addition to our team," said Grunfeld. “His size and playmaking ability will give us more flexibility in the backcourt." NBA.com

The Wizards have also waived Jannero Pargo. He appeared in seven games while averaging 3.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in 14.6 minutes. The Wizards roster now stands at 15. NBA.com

Few players are as integral to the their team’s offensive success as Houston’s James Harden, who is averaging 26.4 points – third in the NBA – heading into the Rockets' game Friday against the Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden. That will mean a busy evening for Harden’s friend, Blazers guard Wesley Matthews, who will be the primary defender on Harden. “You gotta take a lot of bullets,” Matthews said of Harden. “He’s going to keep coming at you, they’re going to keep throwing the ball at him. He’s going to be aggressive. You’re going to have 7-footers trying to take your head off setting screens to get him open looks. I look forward to that matchup.” Oregonian

J.R. Smith admitted today he is a changed man as far reducing the partying. "My thing is, being professional 24 hours a day - 24 hours a day, seven days a week,'' Smith said at the shootaround this morning. "I can’t let myself slip as well as my teammates slip. In order for me to hold them accountable, I have to hold myself accountable. I go out here and there. I definitely have to choose my spots. Definitely not before games. I’ve been smart about it.’’ Of course, his twitter followers know he still is no angel based on his wee-hour tweets from clubs, but he has toned it down and you can credit Woodson, whose aim was to make him more professional when he took over last season. Carmelo also said it was "night and day.'' Sulia

Wade, 30, missed 17 of 66 games last season. His left knee needed to be drained during the playoffs and eventually required surgery, forcing him to skip the Olympics. Nine games into this season, he is still slowed, averaging 16.9 points – his fewest since his rookie season – and making just 16.7 percent of his 3-point attempts. He has scored less than 10 points in two of the past three games. "As he's recovering from the surgery in the offseason, he sprained his ankle, twisted his foot and jammed his finger," LeBron James said. "He's going to try to get healthy. I know it's affecting his play on the floor and I know he wants to play at the highest level. As his knee is getting better, he's banging other things. He will be smart about it. He'll be back." Yahoo! Sports

Wade sprained his left foot when he landed on teammate Chris Bosh's foot in Houston on Monday. Wade returned after the injury, but was clearly limited. Wade had X-rays on the foot, and after testing it in a workout prior to the Clippers game, he opted to play. He missed all but two of his 10 shots and had nearly as many turnovers (five) as assists (six). "Is he 100 percent?" Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. "No. But he will never tell you that. Hopefully, he will be able to get healthier." Yahoo! Sports

The Raptors got some bad news on the injury front on Thursday morning, but it could have been a lot worse. Star point guard Kyle Lowry has a bruised cuboid bone in his right foot and will be treated symptomatically, with a return pegged in the next 1-2 weeks. That’s a lot better than the alternative – a long-term injury that looked probable when Lowry was carried off the court screaming in pain on Nov. 6 in Oklahoma City. Lowry will miss games against Boston, Orlando, Philadelphia and Charlotte, with his earliest return date coming next Friday at Detroit. Toronto Sun

Starting small forward Landry Fields likely will be out the longest, but even his diagnosis brought some relief. Fields had ulnar nerve transposition surgery Wednesday in New York City to address compression/entrapment in his right elbow. Fields will be reassessed in two weeks, and could be out for a while. Still, the team was relieved that there was a medical explanation for the pricey free agent signing’s troubling play early on. Fields was averaging just 2.4 points and 3.2 rebounds and shooting 20.8% from the field, including 0-for-6 from three in his five starts. Toronto Sun

During the NBA Countdown broadcast, which also featured Michael Wilbon, Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons, Johnson said D'Antoni called him and wants to meet with him. On Thursday, Johnson backpedaled a bit, dishing out a series of supportive tweets for D'Antoni. "@LakerNation let's hope & pray that D'Antoni leads the @Lakers to a championship." "The decision's been made that D'Antoni is the coach so we must support him. I appreciate him reaching out to me & look forward to speaking." "We also have to remember that not everything is up to the coach, the players also must do their part." USA Today

The nearly 2 million subscribers of DirecTV who have not been able to watch Lakers games on the Time Warner Cable SportsNet channel since its Oct. 1 launch will have it today. TWC tweeted out the agreement with DirecTV, which will put it on Channel 691. The Spanish-languaged Deportes channel will be on 458. This leaves just the Dish Network as the lone major holdout in Southern California. Los Angeles Daily News

Three reasons why tonight's Celtics-Nets game is an extremely big deal: 1. This is the first game Marv Albert — who was born in Brooklyn, as Marvin Aufrichtig, in 1941 — has ever called in his home borough. 2. That's big on your basic, local-boy-makes-good level. 3. That's big beyond that level, because hometowns aren't simple things. Brooklyn, for example, is where young Marv taught himself play-by-play. But Brooklyn is also the accent he spent years trying to lose. It's where his first surname, Aufrichtig, was taken away. Marv, in other words, is something more complex than Marty Markowitz. If we study the things Marv took from Brooklyn, and the things he had to leave behind, then we can see the formation of the man who will inevitably unleash a "Yes!" tonight. Grantland

For Marv, athletes are slowly being stripped of their mysticism. Marv didn't become a suck-up, the announcer who gleans a few "scoops" for a lifetime as the athlete's unofficial wingman. It's more like he made players into his co-conspirators. "Kenny Sears's stale jokes put the other players to sleep," Marv wrote in the Lincoln Log in 1957. Now, fast-forward three decades. Remember when Michael Jordan hit six first-half 3-pointers in the '92 Finals and gave that I-can't-believe-it-either shrug? It's often forgotten that the guy he was shrugging at — his co-conspirator, you might say — was the NBC announcer whom he liked so much that he'd feel hurt if he didn't get asked for an interview. The guy MJ was shrugging at was Marv. Grantland

November 15, 2012 | 02:48 PM ET Update

As Tommy Heinsohn said, the young core of Al Jefferson, Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, Tony Allen and Delonte West were “like puppies: Every time you saw them, you wanted to pet them.” “We used to have a lot of laughs together, because when I was here, things weren’t going too well as far as winning,” said Jefferson. “But we always had the locker room live with me, [Rondo], Tony Allen, Kendrick Perkins and Delonte West. We all kept it live, and we were fun guys to be around. In the time we were here, when we were losing, we hardly ever got blown out. It was always close games, but we were just such a young team, we didn’t know how to finish those games. I knew if we could’ve stayed together, things could’ve got better for us.” WEEI.com

Strange how things have come full circle in Boston from Jefferson’s perspective. The aging Garnett, who continues “punking” Big Al years after being traded for one another, and the young Rondo he once knew as a teammate have become one and the same — best friends leading the C’s on opposite ends of the floor. “Doc does a great job taking [Garnett] out early and having him in there for crunch time,” said Jefferson. “By him being out there, he doesn’t really have to score a lot of points, he doesn’t really have to be big-time on offense, but just his presence out there on defense has really helped that team. It’s amazing watching.” WEEI.com

Calderon should be remembered for a number of positives. He has been a wonderful teammate. Sure, he has not prodded his teammates as Lowry does, and perhaps a few of the soft Raptors teams needed that. But he has been pleasant and decent to virtually every person who has stepped inside the Raptors’ locker room. National Post

Hudson -- who played for the Wolves from 2002-07 and averaged 23.5 points in a memorable six-game playoff series in 2003 against the Lakers -- has gone back to his roots with the Sioux Falls Skyforce. He is playing with the Wolves' D-League affiliate -- a comeback in a sense, but one that's "about me having fun this go-round," he said via the podcast. We also learned that Hudson became a born-again Christian since last playing in the NBA four years ago. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry is expected to be sidelined for another one to two weeks after being diagnosed with a bruised cuboid bone in his right foot. Lowry's prognosis was among a flurry of injury news the Raptors announced Thursday. cbc.ca

Basketball's governing body will try to lure NBA stars to play in some World Cup qualifiers after creating a new format with more matches in their home countries. The path to the revamped 2019 World Cup includes round-robin qualifying groups played in six separate fixture windows over a 14-month span starting November 2017. "Having the home and away games brings basketball back to the countries themselves," FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann told The Associated Press in an interview. "Eventually this will benefit the whole sport around the world." ESPN.com

November 15, 2012 | 01:33 PM ET Update

Juan Dixon couldn’t help but feel a bit nostalgic as he sat in a red Comcast Center seat late last month. The Terrapins men’s basketball icon had just spent the past 20 minutes discussing life after College Park. He had touched upon a failed drug test, the ups and downs of playing abroad and the NBA comeback attempt that ultimately landed him alongside the newest generation of Terps. Then he paused. A slight smile began to form on the 34-year-old shooting guard’s face as he glanced at the rafters above him. “That’s possible,” Dixon said as he pointed at the 2002 national championship banner. “The reality is, not everybody can make it to the NBA. But that banner, that’s possible. Everybody on the team just has to know their role.” Diamondback Online

“I’ve been through the storm and I’m still trekking through the storm today,” Dixon said. “But I’m working hard every day.” Every weekday, Dixon slaps his alarm clock at 5:45 a.m., makes the 45-minute drive from his Baltimore home and arrives at Comcast Center at 7. He then goes to physical therapy with Megan Rogers, the women’s basketball athletic trainer, rehabbing the bum knee that sidelined him last year. From there, he runs through a litany of drills with David Adkins, the women’s basketball assistant coach, before finishing off the morning with weight training. Dixon usually leaves Comcast at about noon, ready to focus on a host of other endeavors — business opportunities, charity work, fatherhood. But during that five-hour stretch each day when Dixon is at Comcast, he said his mind is solely focused on the NBA. He forgets the regret. He forgets the what-ifs. Diamondback Online

Roy Hibbert struggled and smoldered on the court as the Indiana Pacers dug their hole deeper with nearly every trip downcourt in their blowout loss to the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. But the 23 minutes he spent on the Pacers’ bench, compared to his 25 in the game, were just as bad. Hibbert rolled his eyes at calls and non-calls, slammed his towel to the floor when Bucks’ shooters got friendly bounces and covered his face time and again. At one point, his 7-foot-2 self was folded into the open chair next to him, face down, anguishing through a butt-kicking that got to 32 points at one juncture against Milwaukee. NBA.com

November 15, 2012 | 01:00 PM ET Update

The Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to terms with free-agent forward Josh Howard, according to league sources. Howard will add depth to the injury-ravaged Wolves, who lost Chase Budinger to injury earlier this week. Forward Kevin Love, guards Ricky Rubio, J.J. Barea and Brandon Roy also are sidelined with injuries. ESPN.com

Jefferson has said he's focused on doing all he can to get the Jazz back to the playoffs for the second straight year, but added that he would consider a return to Boston when he becomes a free agent. CSNNE.com

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have assigned guard Cory Joseph to the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League. Joseph, who has appeared in one game for the Spurs this season, had three stints with the Toros in 2011-12. In 14 games in Austin, he averaged 13.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.29 steals in 32.9 minutes, helping lead the team to the 2012 NBA D-League championship. NBA.com

Jason Kapono is close to penning a deal with Panathinaikos, according to Gazzetta.gr. The sharpshooter is in advanced talkts with PAO and might finalize the deal very soon. Sportando

What Wright did not expect Wednesday night, however, was going from starter to not playing at all. Rookie Bernard James stepped into the backup center role, at least for one night, scoring four points and pulling down three rebounds in 15 minutes. “It’s weird, man, what can I say?” a calm Wright said after the game, even managing a smile. He said coach Rick Carlisle “didn’t say a word to me” about why he didn’t play. “You’ll have to ask him, but I’ll go with it,” Wright said. “You can’t keep a good man down. Dallas Morning News

That's where Maggette does some of his best networking with his new teammates and discovered, not surprisingly to him, that Singler didn't require much encouragement. "I don't need to talk to the guy," Maggette said. "He's prepared. He's studying. He's doing his homework just because he's a smart guy, intellectually." Singler, inserted into the starting lineup for the first time after Rodney Stuckey missed the trip with the flu, had 16 points and four rebounds in 40 minutes of playing time as the 1-8 Pistons got their first win, 94-76 over the Philadelphia 76ers. It prompted a couple of quick nicknames. Greg Monroe has taken to calling Singler "Bucket Man.""I call him 'K-Smooth,'" Maggette disclosed. "K-Smooth played tremendous." Booth Newspapers

It is hard to imagine what a man feels when he scores his first NBA basket. After years of hard work, effort, and luck, the player has followed through on one of his dreams and accomplished something truly meaningful. His name will appear in the record book forever as an NBA scorer, someone who managed to put the ball in the basket against the best in the world. It stands to reason that a player might let his emotions run wild in the moments after his first basket. That's exactly what happened to Golden State Warriors rookie forward Draymond Green in the second quarter of Wednesday night's home game against the Atlanta Hawks. With 8:30 remaining in the half, Green took a pass from Jarrett Jack at the top of the arc and knocked down an open three-pointer. It was a big shot for Green, an All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year at Michigan State. After 37 minutes in seven games, he had only a single point to his name after splitting a pair of free throws and missing his first nine field goal attempts. Yahoo! Sports

The Skyforce held their annual media day Tuesday. It might have been the last if their owners had accepted a recent offer to sell. Team president and co-owner Mike Heineman said that an NBA franchise – he wouldn’t disclose which one – tried this summer to buy the D-League club, visiting Sioux Falls and making an official offer. The terms were lucrative, too, larger than any other D-League purchase to this point. Sioux Falls Argus-Leader

But Heineman and his partner/dad, Greg, said no. Why? Because the new owners had been up front about their plans to move the Force out of Sioux Falls, similarly to what the Golden State Warriors did to the Dakota Wizards this offseason, relocating them to Santa Cruz, Calif. That was a deal-breaker. “It was a pretty easy decision,” Heineman said. “We want to leave it here. With the Pentagon opening, we think we have a pretty bright future. We kind of want to see that out.” Sioux Falls Argus-Leader

A cheerleader and stunt team member is in stable condition after falling on her head during a performance at an Orlando Magic game. In a statement released by the Magic on Wednesday, the family of 31-year-old Jamie Woode says she suffered three vertebrae fractures and a broken rib. But there were no signs of neurological damage and she's expected to make a full recovery. Detroit Free Press

November 15, 2012 | 08:37 AM ET Update

Kahn indicated the most likely scenario for the Timberwolves would be to sign a free agent, but the team is at the 15-player roster limit and would have to release someone to make room. St. Paul Pioneer Press

Sources say the Rockets are contemplating sending White to the D-League along with rookies Scott Machado and Donatas Motiejunas. But White has been absent from team's past two practices and Monday night's game against Miami. The Rockets reportedly are fining him every day he is absent from team functions or fails to attend sessions with the therapist the Rockets have arranged for him. CBSSports.com

There have been high-level talks among union officials and White's representatives about how, if at all, they can defend him against the Rockets' decision to fine him, league sources said. But White's intransigence and social media barrage have made it painfully difficult for them to come to his aid. CBSSports.com

Following Wednesday practice, DeMarcus Cousins met publicly with media for the first time since receiving a two-game suspension from the NBA. The league punished the 22-year-old big man for confronting TV announcer Sean Elliott in a “hostile manner” after Friday’s game between the Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs. “Just to see my team out there battling without me,” Cousins said of how difficult it was to sit out the last two contests. “Definitely a position I don’t want to be in again. And I apologize again to my teammates.” Cowbell Kingdom

“I’m loving it right now,” Smith said of his role as the Knicks’ sixth man. “I’m just playing my game and playing with confidence. I’m getting a chance to make plays for my teammates. Coach is giving me a lot of opportunities, so I love it.” New York Times

Smith is doing more than excelling on offense. He has made 11 steals this season. “I feel I have to make plays more than just scoring,” Smith said. “I have to make the little plays. I have to get rebounds. I have to try to get Steve Novak going. I have to make sure Tyson Chandler and Rasheed Wallace are still getting their shots as well.” New York Times

It started with Jamal Crawford. The Los Angeles Clippers’ offseason import was instantly struck by how dynamic an athlete his new backcourt mate was, and so he needed a nickname that fit. “Mini-LeBron.” Thanks to Crawford, it’s what most of the Clippers are calling Eric Bledsoe these days. And now even his nickname-sake is joining in. “[LeBron] actually called me that when we left the court,” said Bledsoe after the Clippers’ 107-100 victory over the Miami Heat at Staples Center. “Yeah, he did. He said, ‘This is Baby LeBron.’” ESPN.com

Because he's playing fewer minutes, Blake Griffin has seen his production go down. Still, Del Negro wants Griffin to take his open shots. Griffin has worked on a 15-foot jumper, and it's still a work in progress. "He's doing a good job picking his spots," Del Negro said. "We want his game to expand, because the better he does, obviously, individually, the better we do team-wise." Los Angeles Times

Washington Wizards point guard John Wall said Wednesday that he still doesn’t have a target date to join his teammates for the first time this season. He continues to rehab from a stress fracture in his right knee, a daily grind that isn’t getting any easier with which to cope. “Still tough and frustrating,” Wall said as he laced his sneakers to go put up some jump shots with assistant coach Sam Cassell prior to the Wizards’ game against the Dallas Mavericks. NBA.com

When the team is at home, Wall pushes through rehab and then does little else. “Just lock myself in my house and listen to music,” he said. NBA.com

Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut will be in the Los Angeles area during part of the team's upcoming road trip to rehabilitate his surgically repaired left ankle. The team said Wednesday that Bogut will be under the supervision of Dr. Richard Ferkel, who performed the surgery on the 7-foot Australian on April 27. The Warriors begin a three-game road trip at Minnesota on Friday. ESPN.com

A conversation overheard on an Aug. 7 commuter flight from Chicago to Memphis, Tenn., has prompted attorneys representing UCLA basketball player Shabazz Muhammad to call for the NCAA to drop its investigation and declare him eligible. The conversation came to light in an email from an attorney who said she was seated behind a man who was speaking loudly about the work of his girlfriend, an "attorney with the NCAA." The girlfriend, whom he identified as "Abigail," was investigating Muhammad. The man made it clear that the NCAA would find Muhammad ineligible and not allow him to play this season, the email said. Abigail Grantstein, an assistant director of enforcement, is the NCAA's lead investigator on the Muhammad case. Los Angeles Times

The timing of the incident is key, according to Muhammad's representatives. The flight was only eight days after NCAA investigators say they first requested documents from Muhammad's family. The first installment of what was thousands of pages of documentation was not delivered until Sept. 25, and Muhammad's parents, Ron Holmes and Faye Muhammad, were not formally interviewed until Nov. 1 and 2. "This confirms our greatest fears, that this case was decided long before the facts were gathered," Trosch said. "This taints the whole process, and I think Shabazz should be able to play immediately." The attorney signed her name to the email but requested anonymity from The Times to avoid an onslaught of media attention. Her email to Thomas was dated two days after the flight. Los Angeles Times

How could a keeper of 11 NBA championships ever be passed up for a coaching job? More important, how could the Lakers ever dismiss Jackson's accomplishments when he's won of five his 11 titles here in two separate stints? "It's very strange," Bryant said after the Lakers' 84-82 loss Tuesday to the San Antonio Spurs. "You would think that organizations and other coaches would try to learn from Phil. That's what they should do. "If you have a coach that has won more than anybody, you would want to study and analyze them and wonder why that is the case. They haven't done it." Long Beach Press-Telegram

Once Bryant learned he was in the mix, though, he campaigned hard. He relished the "We Want Phil" chants showering down from the Lakers fans at Staples Center. Bryant glowingly sang his praises in news conferences. He acknowledged the unsettled feeling that his injured right knee partly contributed to the Lakers falling in a four-game sweep to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 Western Conference semifinals in Jackson's last season. Long Beach Press-Telegram

Tyson Chandler and Jason Kidd also said they were glad D’Antoni’s coaching again. “I’m happy for him,’’ Chandler said. “None of us can predict the future, but I know they are getting a good guy. Coach D’Antoni was great for myself. He helped bring me here. “A lot of guys around the locker room have great respect for him and care about him personally. It wasn’t a situation for him here. Sometimes personnel dictates that. But we all know what he’s accomplished in this league.’’ New York Post

Ric Bucher: Third time's a charm for Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien. The former agent crossed over to a team front office with the Kings but eventually got squeezed out. Same happened with 76ers where, a source says, coach Doug Collins gave a him-or-me ultimatum. No word on what Levien did or if being bounced was justified, but HC Lionel Hollins and GM Chris Wallace are now officially Test Case #3. Sulia

Former Lakers forward and seven-time NBA champion Robert Horry will be joining the Lakers broadcast on Time Warner Cable SportsNet. Horry will participate in select live studio broadcasts throughout the season. He'll appear on "#LakeShow" and "Access SportsNet: Lakers" with Chris McGee, Andy Adler, James Worthy, Dave Miller and Kurt Rambis. Horry won three titles with the Lakers with Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. He also earned two rings with the Houston Rockets as well as the San Antonio Spurs. Los Angeles Times

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