HoopsHype rumors

November 29, 2012 | 08:54 PM ET Update

"We never heard from the Lakers. There was never any interest from them. At the end of the day, Toronto was the place for him and he's happy to be there. He is going to place where he knows he's going to play and help the team and he has a high regard for Bryan Colangelo (Raptors General Manager). CSNNW.com

Ryan Wolstat: So, looks like Pietrus passed the physical. As noted yesterday, all signs still pointing to McGuire being waived to make room Twitter @WolstatSun

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich sent stars Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, plus key role player Danny Green, home for Thursday night's game against the Miami Heat, choosing rest instead of playing them in an early-season showdown. NBA commissioner David Stern promised repercussions for the move, saying the Spurs will face "substantial sanctions" for their approach to the game. "I apologize to all NBA fans," Stern said in a statement. "This was an unacceptable decision by the San Antonio Spurs and substantial sanctions will be forthcoming." ESPN.com

One possibility, the source said, is Adidas, the shoe and apparel company that signed Derrick Rose to a $250 million contract last year. Reinsdorf and other front-office personnel met with Adidas officials in Portland, Ore., on the Bulls' recent West Coast trip. The team's new building could be called The Adidas Center, the source said. The Bulls are also believed to be negotiating with other companies on the rights. Chicago Tribune

November 29, 2012 | 07:08 PM ET Update

In the not-too-distant future, young players such as Victor Claver, Joel Freeland, Will Barton and Nolan Smith might be sent down to the NBA Development League for a little playing time and seasoning. Blazers general manager Neil Olshey said he intends to use Idaho this season as a tool to foster growth with his young players and he has created a tentative plan to send guys east across the Oregon border. Oregonian

It appears Gregg Popovich has done it again. With the road miles piling up on his veteran team, the Spurs coach has dispatched four of his top five leading scorers home to San Antonio in advance of tonight’s nationally televised game against the Miami Heat. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green did not travel with the team after Wednesday night’s win in Orlando, instead heading back to South Texas this morning for an extra day of rest leading up to Saturday’s sure-to-be-rugged home game against Memphis. The four were spotted on a Southwest flight making a pre-lunch escape from central Florida. San Antonio Express-News

“People have been shocked for the most part, but I knew that I hadn’t lost a step or anything,” Crawford told HOOPSWORLD. “I’ll be the first to tell you when I’ve lost a step. I watch a lot of basketball and I play every single day so I’ll be the first to tell you when that happens. That wasn’t it at all. It was just that the last two years were tough. In Atlanta, I was going through the contract situation. In Portland, both sides knew that it was going to be kind of short-lived and the fit may not have been the best. I knew it wasn’t anything that was going on with me physically. I knew it was situational.” HoopsWorld

The National Basketball Retired Players Association, which is comprised of over 600 NBA, ABA and Harlem Globetrotters alumni, announced a four- year extension to its 20-year partnership with the NBA. The NBRPA’s goal is to help players transition into life after basketball. The NBRPA and NBA enhanced their partnership and the league will now provide direct financial support for the NBRPA’s projects. “On behalf of the NBRPA’s Board of Directors and membership, I would like to thank Commissioner David Stern and the NBA for their support – a philanthropic organization like ours would not exist without their two decades of support,” said former NBA All-Star and current NBRPA Vice Chairman Otis Birdsong. “The financial support of the NBA helps fund programs that assist in our members’ transition into life after the game. This enhanced partnership with the NBA will allow us to educate and assist more former players than ever before while creating direct revenue opportunities for NBRPA members.” HoopsWorld

November 29, 2012 | 05:15 PM ET Update

The Mavericks will release power forward Troy Murphy to make room on the roster for point guard Derek Fisher, sources said. The 32-year-old Murphy, who signed with the Mavs in early November, averaged 4.6 points and 3.5 rebounds in 14 games during his Dallas tenure. He shot 36.1 percent from the floor and 31.4 percent from 3-point range. ESPN.com

The Oklahoma City Thunder has assigned guard Jeremy Lamb to the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. Lamb, who was originally acquired from the Houston Rockets along with Kevin Martin on Oct. 27, has appeared in eight games this season averaging 2.1 points in 4.3 minutes. NBA.com

"I thought the play on Kevin was a malicious play," said Rondo. "I got hurt last summer on a similar play like that, a guy going up in the air defenseless, on his way down. "I don't think I did anything dirty. I didn't try to start a riot. I don't think it's more than just a pushing war that started." While Rondo did not apologize for his actions, he did express some regret that he won't be available for his team's next game. "I know I have to be out there for my teammates, that's the only thing about it," said Rondo. "But I was sticking up for my teammates. I'm not trying to start a fight. I'm not trying to be a bully." Boston Globe

"I told them the truth," Rondo said of his conversation with the league. "I don't know what's going to happen. They haven't made a decision yet, so I'm just waiting to hear back from the league. I went through practice today hoping I'll play tomorrow, but you never know." What does his gut tell him? "You never know, you just never know," said Rondo. "It's out of my control. Whatever the consequences are, that's what they are. I don't think I did anything dirty. I didn't try to start a riot. I don't think it was more than a pushing war. That's about it." ESPN.com

Rondo has a history, and it will be part of his penalty. For bumping an official in the first round of last season's Eastern Conference playoffs, Rondo could've cost the Celtics their series with the Atlanta Hawks. Without him, they won Game 2 and survived. However loathsome Humphries seems to his peers – and posting photos of scratch marks on his shoulder late Wednesday further validated why his foul was met with such an excessive response – Rondo let down the locker room, let down his coach. Yahoo! Sports

Rivers has always let Rondo play through his mistakes, learn and become better for it. Within the organization, the Celtics have always marveled over Rivers' ability to let Rondo have latitude to his eccentric self, to push the limits of his creativity, his risk-taking. Rivers lets Rondo do it all, but as one assistant coach told me, "Doc's always known when he needs to pull him back in." Yahoo! Sports

I am not sure it can ever work in Houston and I have had numerous people tell me Royce doesn’t want to play, until that changes, this is the situation and Houston has little choice. They are fining him, so he’s losing 110th of his salary every day he’s out, so its not like he’s at home collecting a Houston paycheck. HoopsWorld

When Kenyon Martin initiated a revolt against coach Vinny Del Negro last season, Billups was instrumental in quieting it. I would imagine he'll be key in convincing CP3 to stay beyond this year as well, although Paul will no doubt be very conscious of the fact that Billups' playing career is nearly over. LAC would be well advised to keep him on in some capacity to help persuade CP3 they plan to continue moving in the right direction. Sulia

A few years ago, Kwame Brown let go of all the pressure that went along with being the top pick in the NBA draft and never living up to expectations. It has worked out quite well for the burliest member of the 76ers. "You don't survive 12 years thinking about that," said Brown, who in 2001 became the first high-school player ever selected with the first pick in the draft. "I realized that I had outlived guys that were high picks. There were 50th picks that came in that were just solid. So I just modeled myself after the guys with longevity, and that's what I wanted to do. To be in this business, you've got to know your role and what you want to do. "Forget a pick. Forget expectations. You've just got to go out and do a job." Philadelphia Inquirer

Instead, Thomas insists that inconsistent playing time caused him to overthink his game. Not knowing if he would play minor or major minutes elicited the sophomore guard to press with his contributions as soon as he’d take the floor. But with all three guards playing at a relatively similar level right now, the minutes will likely continue to fluctuate for Thomas as the season progresses. Unless Smart tightens his rotation sometime soon, all he can do is keep himself ready. “If you’re in there for one minute, 20 minutes, you just gotta bring it,” Thomas said. “And I told myself if I’m there for, like I said, one minute or 20 minutes, I’m going to make that the most exciting 20 minutes of the game. So, I know what I gotta do and I just gotta play.” Cowbell Kingdom

He has trouble pinpointing the exact time he fretted seeing statues and monuments but said the uneasy feeling was palpable during a visit to a wax museum two summers ago before his senior season at Weber State. "The last room was Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln — all these big-time historic people, and it looked just like them. Same size," he said. "They had music playing in the room to set the mood, and it just threw me off." "Ever since then, I'm done. Even at Lake Oswego (near Portland), I drive past the cemetery, and there's a statue of Jesus with his hands up. That even scared me. I don't mess with statues no more. "It's the idea that they're from so far back, and so big in our history. Just to see something that looks so close to them, it's weird. It freaks me out." USA Today

Utah forward Jazz Marvin Williams suffered a possible concussion against the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday, according to the team. He is undergoing tests this morning in Oklahoma City, where the Jazz play Friday, and is doubtful for that game. USA Today

Michael Jordan said Thursday he did refuse to change out of cargo shorts while playing golf recently at a Miami Beach country club, but he said he was hardly being a rebel. "I've been there many times and no one told me a thing," Jordan told ESPN Chicago by text. "Then all of a sudden they come to me on the 11th hole and say I can't wear cargo shorts. Wow! The round is almost over and you want me to buy shorts now? Yeah, right!!" After declining to change, Jordan reportedly continued his round, but it could be his last at the club. A report in the New York Post quoted a source saying that Jordan, a Chicago Bulls Hall of Famer and owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, would not be invited back. "No problem!!" Jordan replied. ESPN.com

“Michael was wearing cargo pants on the course,” said a spy. Jordan’s multipocketed pants were apparently against the dress code that, sources say, dictates that members and guests must be attired in a collared shirt and Bermuda shorts. But when 6-foot, 6-inch Jordan was offered a chance to change outfits, he demurred. “He was given the chance to change but he didn’t want to,” a source said. The source added that Jordan, who was enjoying a round at the club with one of its members, played on anyway. The source added that members complained about Jordan breaking the rules and, “He won’t be invited back.” New York Post

Up until now, rumors and unconfirmed reports swirled around the Capital City about a Kings' possible move to Virginia Beach; however, now, sources in Virginia, who asked not to be identified, said George Maloof has met with state and city leaders there and plans are being drafted to possibly move the NBA team. At Tuesday night's Virginia Beach City Council meeting, Mayor Will Sessoms said media giant Comcast-Spectacor and its president, Peter Luukko, are very optimistic. "He is currently working on a long-term lease with a professional sports team that will serve as an anchor tenant to an arena," Sessoms told the council. news10.net

November 29, 2012 | 10:18 AM ET Update

Amar'e Stoudemire would accept a role as the New York Knicks' sixth man if asked, two sources with knowledge of Stoudemire's thinking told ESPNNewYork.com. "All he cares about right now is helping the team and winning," said one source, who has been around Stoudemire regularly in recent weeks. "He'd be fine with coming off the bench if that's what they want." ESPN.com

A source close to Stoudemire who has visited with the veteran power forward recently said Stoudemire wants to help the Knicks, who were 9-4 entering play Wednesday, and doesn't want to affect any chemistry the team has established. "He just wants to win," the source says. "He sees how well they're playing and just wants to help. He'll be fine with whatever they want to do." ESPN.com

The short-handed Dallas Mavericks will sign 16-year veteran point guard Derek Fisher on Thursday, coach Rick Carlisle said after team's 101-78 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night. USA Today

“I loved the way he played in Philly,” said Carlisle, who announced the Fisher news after the Mavericks’ 101-78 blowout loss to Chicago on Wednesday night. “I think that’s a great role for him right now. I think Fisher can help us as a starter. This is a great opportunity for Darren to develop into a true starting point guard in this league. Dallas Morning News

Galatasaray lost Henry Domercant indefinitely. The player torn his ACL as showed by the MRI. The Turkish powerhouse is not on the market looking for his replacement. The hottest name, according to Ismail Senol, is Carlos Arroyo but for his transfer, Galatasaray has to pay a buyout to Besiktas. Sportando

As Kris Humphries was leaving Boston Garden and declining to discuss his fracas with Rajon Rondo, Jason Terry was in the Celtics locker room insulting the Nets forward. "Some guys are tough. Some guys pretend to be. He's one of those that pretends to be," Terry told reporters. "I played with him (on the 2009-10 Dallas Mavericks). Maybe that's the role Avery (Johnson) wants him to have, but he could leave that to somebody else." Terry continued jab at Humphries, calling him “soft.” New York Daily News

Reggie Evans likened Rondo to an annoying bug. Rondo is eight inches shorter and 50 pounds lighter than Humphries. "That's just like a mosquito in your face. Eventually, you are going to swat at the mosquito, right?” Evans told reporters. “You aren't going to let mosquitos in your face. You are going to get bumps all over your face. So you have to knock the mosquito down." New York Daily News

“Rondo initiated everything that proceeded after the foul,” Capers, the crew chief, told a pool reporter after the game. “And when he and Humphries go into the stands, they are involved in a fight. Fighting is an automatic ejection.” New York Post

“We can’t back down,” Deron Williams said afterward. “It’s not about being a tough guy or anything like that. We’re just not going to back down from anybody. “We did a good job of keeping our composure. … They did a good job of making a run in the second half, but we were able to withstand that, keep our focus mentally and finish the game.” New York Post

The Lakers rank 29th out of 30 NBA teams in free-throw shooting at 66.8 percent. In four of the Lakers' eight losses, the margin between made and missed free throws exceeded the point differential between winning and losing. Among the worst Lakers players to send to the free-throw line include Dwight Howard (47.8 percent), Morris (56.5 percent), Jordan Hill (61.5 percent) and Antawn Jamison (63.2 percent). "Stop talking about it. I don't want to hear about it," Howard said after going 3 of 12 from the line in the Lakers' 79-77 loss Tuesday to the Indiana Pacers. "That's my problem, thinking too much at the line." Long Beach Press-Telegram

Harden received a warm ovation from the sellout crowd of 18,203 and a handful of beards were spotted. Opposing players are introduced in a monotone voice and very rapidly. Harden was introduced second, not last, and received a favorable reaction from fans, who already were on their feet. Oklahoman

When the two sides couldn't come to terms on an extension, Harden was given approximately an hour to decide whether to take the latest offer or run the risk of being traded, he says. He received the news that he had been sent to Houston while dining with his family at a Cheesecake Factory in Oklahoma City and admitted he was stunned. "I was lost (when he heard)," Harden told USA TODAY Sports. "I got traded? I don't know what that means. Traded? I'm really leaving OKC, really going to Houston? Lost. I was at a loss for words." USA Today

"No, it wasn't (about money)," Harden said. "Well, I mean obviously it was majority, partly about the money, but…I was put in a tough situation to where things didn't happen the way that (he) wanted (them) to. "I thought I did sacrifice. I thought I sacrificed coming off the bench. I could've tried to be a starter and messed the whole thing up. But I sacrificed coming off the bench in order for the betterment of the team, so there was a lot of different things I thought I sacrificed to make the Thunder better." USA Today

Here’s Thabeet’s side of things. “It was a basketball play. I wanted to challenge the shot. We got tangled up a little bit. I was trying to hear what (Harden) was saying and the ref came over and whatever happened, happened.” Thabeet said Davis told him he pushed him. But Thabeet said the contact was unintentional. “When the situation like that happened, I was just focused on trying to see what was going on between me and James. So my peripheral was completely gone and I threw my hands and he said I pushed him. It wasn’t intentional.” Oklahoman

“Needed to get that first one. Starting to forget what it felt like,” Okafor said with a laugh after scoring six points with eight rebounds. “I think getting that first victory and things will start to steamroll. We’ve gotten close several times and I think now that we’ve actually won whatever oppressive force that has kept us from winning has been lifted and it’ll start to come a little bit easier.” Washington Post

CSNNW.com asked Aldridge if it was starting to feel similar to how the season went haywire last year. He says it is not at that point. “This is a different team, younger team,” Aldridge said. “Guys are into it. We have a bunch of young guys trying to learn a lot of things. So, it's not even nowhere near that. That team had a whole bunch of vets and when you have a bunch of vets, that's going to happen. This team is young and we have a new offense, new identity and we're trying to figure it out.” CSNNW.com

Bulls management has made it clear Rose must be cleared by physicians and a conservative approach will be used. Still, executive vice president John Paxson, general manager Gar Forman and coach Tom Thibodeau all have said the expectation remains Rose will return at some point this season. Told in a phone interview with the Tribune this could occur in March, John Calipari, his former college coach, offered his opinion. "They don't need to mess with that one. You know what I'm saying," Calipari said. "Don't mess with that one. And, hey, he's so young, it doesn't matter. Really. In the scheme of the Bulls, one year doesn't matter when the kid is 24 years old. You know?" Chicago Tribune

Billups returned to the lineup Wednesday in a 101-95 win against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He had missed more than nine months with a torn Achilles tendon in his left foot. His arrival was timely, as Los Angeles had lost four in a row. "I was just so excited to be back after such a long time," Billups said. "I've only played full court like three times since the injury, so knowing that, I'm trying to be patient with myself. It's going to take a little while. I got back pretty far ahead of schedule. To be honest, I was going to be back before this, but there were a couple of small setbacks, which was expected, because I had to recalibrate my body for playing an intense level of basketball." USA Today

Rivers said he still has no idea when guard Avery Bradley will return from shoulder surgeries but he is participating in drills before practice and is taking shots before every game. But an NBA source said Bradley is “close” to returning to practice and it could be “any day.” Bradley had the first procedure in June and the second in July. Rivers and the source said Bradley could play a few games in the NBADL to get some extra conditioning before making his return. Bradley last played in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the 76ers when a collision with Philadelphia center Lavoy Allen knocked his right shoulder out of place. Boston Globe

Joshua Smith graced the cover of the UCLA basketball game program Wednesday night, an awkward bit of timing considering that the talented but overweight junior center quit the Bruins' team earlier in the day, citing "personal reasons." Smith's decision, announced several hours before the Bruins faced Cal State Northridge, made him the second player to leave the Bruins this week. Guard Tyler Lamb announced Sunday he would transfer. Los Angeles Times

Maggette, in his 14th NBA season, was non-committal Wednesday when asked if he might play a 15th. With his contract expiring after this season and his next one not likely to have the same value, retirement is a strong possibility. Just in case, he has an idea of what he might do next. "Who knows what will happen? Who knows? I might be a guy that might be in a front-office position," Maggette said. "I'm already preparing myself for that as I finish this career. "The biggest thing is to worry about what's going on now and let the future take care of itself. We don't even know if we're going to wake up tomorrow." Booth Newspapers

The NBA’s announcement the Knicks are No. 1 in merchandise sales in its latest study for the first time since 2004 may need a big, fat black-and-white asterisk. The figures are based on sales at the NBA store and online store from April through Thanksgiving weekend. Another reason the numbers are skewered is because the Brooklyn Nets’ new merchandise didn’t become available until late September. A lot of the figures count the Nets’ old merchandise sales. New York Post

NBA superstar Andrew Bynum is suing his next door neighbors, claiming they're violent, racist hooligans -- but the neighbors have fired back ... claiming Bynum is the REAL a-hole. Bynum -- a former member of the L.A. Lakers -- claims that ever since he moved into his fancy home in Westchester, CA more than 7 years ago, he's been constantly harassed by his neighbors, Ramond and Cindy Beckett. TMZ.com

But the Becketts quickly responded to the lawsuit with a countersuiit of their own -- TRASHING Bynum as the neighbor from hell who only sued them to preemptively strike against the lawsuit they had been planning. In their legal docs, the Becketts UNLOAD on the NBA star -- claiming he's guilty of the following misdeeds: -- brandishing FIREARMS in an attempt to intimidate the Becketts -- "apparently" using drugs and allowing weed smoke to drift next door -- blasting loud, profane rap music (including the song "Currency" by Trina) -- blasting his video games at "window-shaking volumes" -- letting his dogs run loose through the neighborhood -- constantly racing his luxury cars at dangerous speeds TMZ.com

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