HoopsHype rumors

November 22, 2012 | 07:10 PM ET Update

However, Cuban was clear that it will be up to Dirk to decide when he’s done in Dallas. The Mavs will keep signing the face of their franchise as long as Nowitzki is willing and able to lace up his Nikes and play. “Obviously I’m excited if he thinks he’s going to come back,” Cuban said. “I want him to come back for forever. I’ll keep on signing him until he’s 73 if he wants to keep on playing.” ESPN.com

Jeremy Lin says he has no regrets about the Knicks decision not to match his $25M contract offer in July, indicating it was “God's plan’’ for him to wind up in Houston. Lin faces the Knicks for the first time Friday at Toyota Center. “The biggest thing is I enjoyed playing for the fans,’’ Lin said after Thursday's practice. “I had a lot of peace about it when it happened. I know God has a perfect plan. And he’s shown that in my life. It didn’t shake out the way everybody thought it would. But I’m still very at peace with how everything happened. I’m in a great situation right now.’’ New York Post

Friday the Knicks visit Houston at the Toyota Center, where Lin will play against his former team for the first time since leaving after the Knicks would not match the Rockets' free- agent contract offer. "God doesn't make mistakes and God has a perfect plan," Lin said Wednesday before the Rockets played the Bulls. "He wants me here and I know that for sure. It's going well. I'm thankful to be here and it's a different challenge for a young team, but I'm excited." The 24-year-old Lin is still everything a teammate looks for in a player -- unselfish, hard working and driven. He still is involved in the community. "He's still humble and down to earth," Rockets forward Patrick Patterson said. "He's not that type of cocky player. Still the same guy I'm sure he was at Harvard." Newsday

That's what happens when life throws you the ultimate change-up that puts you in an Intensive Care Unit in Cleveland for a week for heart surgery and puts your life -- not just the game of basketball -- in jeopardy. And as if that wasn't scary enough, Green told CSNNE.com that doctors had to go back inside a second time to repair some internal bleeding which extended his hospital stay. "I didn't realize that (happened) until I left the hospital and I was talking to one of my good friends," Green told CSNNE.com. "What I had was bleeding internally. So they had to go back in and fix what it was." Green added, "Everything that I have ever owned, everything that I have ever gained, everything I ever accomplished, was almost taken away from me in a matter of hours." CSNNE.com

November 22, 2012 | 12:00 PM ET Update

Do you think the James Harden trade could possibly affect KD's decision to resign in OKC when his contract is up? or is that too far down the road. Sorry to bring up the trade again. Darnell Mayberry: It's quite all right, Scott. I doubt the trade has any bearing on KD's feelings toward the franchise or the city. What I do question is how the agent, Rob Pelinka, might steer Durant. Many of Pelinka's clients have moved on to other markets. Eric Gordon, James Harden, O.J. Mayo. Andre Iguodala and Carlos Boozer among others. It seems his players have no loyalty to their original teams. But my question is is it the players or the agent? Oklahoman

The five players scoring at a higher clip than Mayo -- Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Anthony and James Harden -- all have long-term deals that pay them well into eight figures per season. “I don’t want to talk him up too much because I don’t want him to opt out next year,” Cuban kidded before the game, a comment that made Mayo laugh heartily when it was relayed to him later. ESPN.com

Earlier this week, Boston coach Doc Rivers told reporters that his greatest failing as a free-agent recruiter came in the summer of 2000, when he swung and missed on luring Tim Duncan to Orlando. Duncan said Rivers shouldn’t be so hard on himself. “He made his pitch,” Duncan said. “I don’t know there’s anyone to blame for it. It’s just a decision that went one way or the other and I decided to stay.” San Antonio Express-News

But even if it’s offense-defense substitutions needed to get Hamilton on the court late, for a team mired in struggles scoring the ball and without the necessary poise needed to win tight games recently, it’s a mystery why a player known for stepping up in the clutch doesn’t get the opportunity to show what he’s capable of. Hamilton answered those concerns diplomatically, perhaps out of deference for Thibodeau’s track record or maybe because after the end to his successful run in Detroit was tainted by the implication that he wasn’t as much as of a team-first player that he seemed to be for his entire career prior to the allegations that surfaced before leaving the Pistons. Either way, he wouldn’t bite. CSN Chicago

“The one thing you’ve just got to do is just cheer for the guy that’s out there. Hopefully we get the win, so you just try to stay positive with it,” he calmly said afterwards. ““Like I always say, whatever they need me to do, I’m going to do. If it’s play whatever, I’m going to play. Just trying to stay positive, just try to keep getting better each and every day. “When I came [to Chicago], it was just one of those things,” Hamilton cryptically continued. “I didn’t want to get caught up in anything else.” CSN Chicago

While Hamilton will never admit to acknowledging that he’s starting to approach the twilight of his career—and why would he, as he’s displayed on multiple occasions this season, even on the Bulls’ current road trip, that he’s still capable of being a major offensive force— one has to think that the whispers about him being the same player and being potential trade bait before the league-wide deadline so the organization can avoid the luxury tax have affected him. Although he reported to training camp in tip-top shape after privately being challenged to step up his game, the party line about protecting his health has to be wearing thin. CSN Chicago

Metta World Peace loved to hear that Reggie Evans was fined $5,000 for flopping. "Yes!" he said when informed by a reporter. He wasn't so happy to learn that Brooklyn forward Gerald Wallace wasn't fined by the NBA. Both players committed questionable flops when World Peace had the ball in the Lakers' 95-90 victory Tuesday over Brooklyn. Los Angeles Times

But they all shared a demoralizing 101-100 defeat at Philips Arena when referees rewarded Martell Webster with a rebound putback at the buzzer only to reverse the decision and wave off the shot after reviewing the tape. Most of the players found out about the decision in the locker room, after Webster led a gleeful parade to celebrate what appeared to be the first win of an already painful season. “Finally. We deserved it,” Webster said he thought to himself as he ran off the floor. Washington Post

They are now the 13th team in NBA history to start a season with 10 straight losses. The record is 18 in a row. “We’re going to take the big gorilla off our back and I think it’s going to go smooth,” Nene said afterward. “We did a good job. We need to pay attention to little detail at the end of the game. Like rebound, recognizing the hot guy on the other team and those kind of mistakes cost us the victory.” Washington Post

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is a fun guy to talk to. His postgame press conference was in the hallway outside the locker room and Popovich was holding his sneakers and his suit jacket. He didn't want to loiter, but he dropped a few good quotes on his way out. On second-year guard Gary Neal scoring 12 points: "His job is to shoot the ball. Other than that he got no clue. He did what’s supposed to do." On occasional bricklayer Tiago Splitter going 5 for 5 from the foul line: "That amazes the free world, when he makes those free throws." Boston Globe

Following the game, Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts did something he has never done during his brief tenure as the team's coach...he called out one of his players. “He (Meyers Leonard) needs to work on his individual post defense,” Stotts said. Gortat scored on him, Jermaine O'Neal scored on him. He's trying, but right now, he's a poor post defender one-on-one.” Stotts is clearly trying to send a message with those comments. But you won't hear Leonard disagreeing with his coach's critique. “I got to get better at defense,” Leonard admitted. “It's a learning process. I got to have better anticipation, better everything. So we just as a team, got to get better and definitely for myself.” CSNNW.com

Don’t for a second think that the league won’t hear from Toronto today (perhaps they already have) and they will be made aware of whatever grievances the Raptors have to make. And they will listen because it will be done through proper channels and without any public fanfare, as the league wants. There have been moments already this season, I’ve been told, when tapes and video have been sent and, yes, the league has concurred that mistakes were made. Of course that’s too after the fact but you’d think an accumulation of them might have some impact. Toronto Star

Asked to compare the two, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said, “Just put a mirror and tell them to look at it. They’re both extremely professional. “They obviously do it differently. Kevin is more outward in his emotion and Tim is more inward. They both have the exact same mentality. They both are extremely tough. “It’s amazing how much both of them care about winning. They’re both unselfish at times to a fault. It’s amazing how similar they are yet how different they act.” Boston Globe

That mind would race at night last year, tortured by his inner voices that questioned his ego, questioned his motivation and questioned the doctors who told him he should stop playing. But it was one question that pierced, one that eventually got him out of bed on back in the gym. "Did I stop too soon?," Roy said last week. "That was always the thing in my mind, that was the thing keeping me up at night. Did I stop too soon?" Oregonian

Not just one doctor, but multiple doctors have told Roy that he should stop playing basketball. His knees are getting worse by the day. By now, at 28, he has had so many surgeries, so many treatments and seen so many doctors, he sounds like a specialist. He explains that he has degenerative arthritis, which erodes and eventually eliminates cartilage, with the same precision and ease that came to define his run of three consecutive All-Star appearances. And with the calm that made him one of the game's best finishers, he explains that his knees have reached Level III arthritis. There are only four stages. "Level IV," Roy says fearlessly, "is when you get a knee replacement." Oregonian

So why do this? He doesn't need the money. He doesn't want the attention. He doesn't need the validation. Why risk his long-term health? Why endure the pain? Why? Two reasons, Roy says. When he walked away from the Blazers and the NBA, he felt it wasn't on his terms. And as a result he lost himself. This comeback, then, is not about rediscovering glory, or proving doubters wrong. Oregonian

"I don't want to speak for Portland, but medically retiring and them using the amnesty, I think it worked for both sides," Roy said. "During that whole process, my whole thing was I wanted to make it OK for Portland. I didn't want it to be one-sided ... I felt like Paul (Allen) had done so much for me, and I know how much people in that organization care about the Blazers, so I never wanted to handicap them. So it was the best way we could make this split, while at the same time I could be comfortable and keep my earnings and the Blazers could be freed. I don't know how we could have had a better ending." Oregonian

"I wouldn't be disappointed either way," Roy said. "If it ends in three weeks, it ends. It's over. I'm totally satisfied with what I've done. I know the sacrifice and the effort that I put into coming back. It took a lot of discipline to get to where I am. That's all I care about: how hard I've worked. So I can't say I'm disappointed, that would be selfish. I was just a normal player my junior year in college, and everything since has been a major blessing. Oregonian

Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said Wednesday night that he intends to keep the assistant coaches from Mike Brown's staff through this season and doesn't expect he'll add anyone to his staff until this summer. "They're good coaches. I know almost all of them anyway. They work extremely hard. We are in a lot. I just felt like, 'They're here, they're good, why change it?'" D'Antoni told ESPNLosAngeles.com before the Lakers played the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night. "I've known all of them and I've seen 'em work. They're coaches. They're very valuable in what they add. Their insights. The more insights you have, I think the better you are." ESPN.com

Mike D'Antoni revealed Wednesday he intended to keep assistants Chuck Person, Steve Clifford and Eddie Jordan through the season. "I didn't know Coach D'Antoni," Person told ESPNLosAngeles.com. "But I'm sure he did his homework with those of us on this staff before he decided to keep us on to see if it works. "Mike is real laid back. He asks the coaches how we feel. He really cares about us as people." ESPN.com

Bernie Bickerstaff will celebrate Thanksgiving with the greatest winning percentage of any former Lakers coach, and you laugh, and he laughs, but those five games he served as the interim boss between Mike Brown and D'Antoni were a triumphant lap in a lifelong trip across a landscape of poverty and racism. In quieting Lakers chaos and leading them to a 4-1 record that may eventually represent four of the most important wins of the season, Bickerstaff traveled from a Kentucky mining hollow to Hollywood. From a gravel court and coat hanger rim to Staples Center. From childhood outhouses to basketball's penthouse. "Growing up the way I grew up, you get through all that, this is like candy," he said. Los Angeles Times

For parts of 13 seasons, he has been the head coach for four different franchises — Seattle, Denver, Washington and Charlotte. He came to the Lakers with a 427-538 record that is considered as reflective of his rosters — he was the first coach for the expansion Bobcats — as his coaching ability. When he was asked by General Mitch Kupchak to replace Brown moments after the coach was suddenly fired, Bickerstaff shrugged and said fine. The Lakers loved him, averaging 103.8 points a game during his tenure, a figure which would currently lead the league. And now that it's over? Now that his moment of national glory has come and gone in seemingly seven seconds or less? "The one person I've got to be all right with is me, and I'm OK with me," said Bickerstaff. "There's no levitating here. I'm going to keep my feet on the ground and enjoying everything around me." Los Angeles Times

It all started when Miami forward Shane Battier claimed two weeks ago he can beat any other player in the NBA in "Jeopardy!" When Battier’s former Duke teammate and good friend Mike Dunleavy heard this, he scoffed. “I don’t know if he could beat Duke players,’’ said Dunleavy, a Milwaukee forward who had 16 points and four rebounds to Battier’s no points and seven boards in a 113-106 overtime loss to the Heat. “He probably could beat everybody else. I don’t think he could beat me. … I think what he meant to say is (Battier) can beat any player in the NBA besides any who went to Duke. I think Grant (Hill, also a Duke alum) could give him a run for his money.’’ FOXSports Florida

Midway through the third quarter, with the Thunder leading 64-56, Durant attacked the paint and attempted to feed Thabo Sefalosha on the left wing once the defense collapsed. His bullet pass was tipped, though, and wound up hitting the woman square in the face. Watch the lower left corner of the video above and you’ll see it was a direct hit. Brutal. Durant, being Durant, immediately went over to the woman to ask her if she was alright. A video replay then captured him planting a kiss to the top of her head as her courtside companions looked on. The extra attention caused her to break into a wide smile, as you might imagine. Durant finished with a game-high 35 points, six rebounds, five assists, five steals, six turnovers and one smooch in 47 minutes. SI.com

Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert Perra hopped a plane from Taiwan to watch Dongguan Leopard practice on Tuesday. The 34-year-old computer billionaire wasn't in town to soak up the ambience at Dalang Stadium. He was there to check out 20-year-old Li Muhao, the 2.16 meter, 20-year-old who already has the attention of NBA teams despite the marginal impact he made in his CBA debut last season. "Last year, he scored 20 points for the whole year," said Leopard coach Brian Goorjian. "So he suited up and didn't play, so this year is like his first. "He has a bit of an ankle (injury) right now, but he's really springy, really athletic." China Daily

The clubs' share of the CBA's financial pie is about to get much bigger. After inking lucrative endorsement deals with 23 sponsors plus a five-year deal with marketing partner, Infront, worth 1.7 billion yuan ($273 million), according to Beijing Morning News, the CBA has become one of the richest professional leagues in China, and that's paying off for its clubs. According to a Beijing News report, the appropriation to each club from league revenue will reach $1.6 million this season, almost 10 times the previous amount. "We will have more funds from sponsors this season, so all the clubs should benefit," said Bai Xilin, head of the CBA's competition department. "The league won't make money. The entire funds will go to clubs' infrastructure building and salary expenses." China Daily

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