HoopsHype rumors

January 30, 2013 | 10:34 PM ET Update
January 30, 2013 | 09:23 PM ET Update
January 30, 2013 | 08:29 PM ET Update
January 30, 2013 | 07:34 PM ET Update

The Memphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors have agreed in principle on a trade that will send leading scorer Rudy Gay to the Raptors, according to sources with knowledge of the deal. Sources told ESPN.com the Grizzlies will acquire forward Ed Davis and veteran guard Jose Calderon from the Raptors and then move Calderon to a third team to ultimately make this a three-team deal. ESPN.com

Sources told ESPN.com that the Pistons have agreed to send Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye to the Grizzlies to acquire Calderon as part of the trade. Memphis, sources said, is also expected to receive a second-round pick from Toronto as part of the deal. The Raptors, sources said, are expected to take on Grizzlies reserve center Hamed Haddadi in addition to Gay. ESPN.com

Chris Andersen is still working to get his wind. The Heat made moves to extend the stays of both of the backup big men on Monday, signing Varnado for the remainder of the season and giving Andersen a second 10-day contract. “It’s been a long, long, long journey for me, man,” Varnado said. “But I never got discouraged. And I knew I was going to be in the NBA one day, it just had to be the right time and place. I’m glad that the team that drafted me, signed me.” Palm Beach Post

Andersen has been participating in the intense 3-on-3 games, at practice and prior to games, with Varnado, Mike Miller, Rashard Lewis, James Jones and Dexter Pittman. And he’s been trying to fit in. “I really felt like I was being more part of the team, the second day I was here, and they brought me on stage to sing Vanilla Ice ‘Ice, Ice, Baby’ unexpected and unprepared,” Andersen said of the Battioke charity event. “I remember the song, but I don’t remember the lyrics, man. I tell you, I could not remember the words, especially when they are right in front of me. I think as soon as I got on stage and embarrassed myself for a cause, they realized what kind of character I am.” Andersen congratulated Varnado on getting signed for the season. “Now it’s on me to do the same thing,” Andersen said. This 10-day contract ends prior to the All-Star break. Regardless of his situation, he plans to spend that break back in Colorado, running mountains. Palm Beach Post

Veteran guard Jason Richardson will miss his fifth straight game on Wednesday night against the Washington Wizards, and from the sound of things, he likely will miss another game or two. Richardson will be departing for Vail, Colo. on Wednesday night to meet with renowned knee surgeon Dr. Richard Steadman for an examination of his ailing left knee. CSNPhilly.com

Steadman is well known in basketball circles for performing microfracture surgery. He also works closely with the U.S. ski team and was inducted into the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame. Steadman also performed surgery on Kobe Bryant’s knee in the summer of 2003 when he was arrested for his connection with a sexual assault complaint. CSNPhilly.com

On Wednesday, the basketball Hall of Famer's children's book, "Dennis The Wild Bull," was released, and Rodman's influence is noticeable right off the bat. The cover is basically Rodman, only in bull (how clever!) form, as it shows a large red bull with red hair, two nose rings, a tattoo and red stubble under his chin. "They'll see me, literally see me. They'll say, 'Wow, this is just like him,'" said Rodman, a member of the Bulls for three seasons. USA Today Sports

Thanks to the big hearts of Adrienne and Chris Bosh, we had a fabulous time tonight entertaining local kids with Team Tomorrow at the Chris Bosh Christmas party. I painted this portrait of the beautiful couple in Venice with their bouncing baby boy Jackson, and I feel honored to have been able to give it to them in person. Nina's Color Lab

January 30, 2013 | 07:17 PM ET Update

And there also have been the trade rumors, including those tied to the Celtics, whom Cousins and the Sacramento Kings face Wednesday night at TD Garden. Still, Cousins, speaking Wednesday morning at shootaround, downplayed the trade rumors -- and there have been plenty of them. Related Rajon Rondo’s absence at Celtics practice is palpable “I didn’t even know my name was in trade talks,” he said. “That’s part of the deal [though]. There’s always going to be allegations.” Boston Globe

Of course, Cousins said he isn’t astonished his name has come up in said talks that he was unaware existed. “I’m not surprised,” he said. “I am a pretty decent player.” Boston Globe

January 30, 2013 | 07:11 PM ET Update

Nash, perhaps the most popular Suns player ever, returns Wednesday night to the arena where he left to chants of "We want Steve" in April and where he left a two-time Most Valuable Player's imprints for eight years. "It's a very special place to me," Nash said. "I can't wait to get back and see everybody. So many great memories, great seasons and relationships that mean the world to me. I'm thrilled to come back and play. But in some respects, it'll be strange to not wear a Suns uniform." USA Today Sports

“There’s a new ticketing system this year, which I understood did work better in succeeding games, but the first game at home turned out to be somewhat of a disaster for the digital ticketing….” the WTOP host began. “That’s not true,” Leonsis said. “It was a very cold night, that opening night. And we had two things that were going on. One was a security system. Across the league, we’re taking security much more diligently, and it starts at entering the building, and so we’re wanding people. That was really the major issue. And it was cold. Washington Post

January 30, 2013 | 06:41 PM ET Update

Rudy Gay spent the first 6 1/2 seasons of his career in Memphis. (USA Today Sports) The Grizzlies receive point guard Jose Calderon as part of the deal, and will route Calderon's $10.5 million expiring contract to the Detroit Pistons for a package that includes forwards Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye, league sources told Y! Sports. The Raptors also sent forward Ed Davis and a second-round pick to the Grizzlies. Memphis sent center Hamed Haddadi to the Raptors. Yahoo! Sports

January 30, 2013 | 06:34 PM ET Update
January 30, 2013 | 06:25 PM ET Update
January 30, 2013 | 06:07 PM ET Update

Tuesday night at Staples Center the term "clock management" took on a whole new meaning when Swiss luxury watch brand Hublot was announced as the official timekeeper of the Los Angeles Lakers. The brief pre-game ceremony -- which involved the presentation of a wristwatch-shaped wall clock to Lakers Executive Vice President Jeanie Buss by Hublot Chief Executive Ricardo Guadalupe at center court -- marks the start of the brand's five-year sponsorship of the NBA team. Earlier that day, Guadalupe told All the Rage that the deal, which will eventually include some kind of brand presence at Staples Center, affords Hublot both exposure to an arena full of potential customers and the opportunity to provide Lakers-related perks (things like game seats and player access) to clients of its Beverly Hills boutique. Los Angeles Times

"They'll see me, literally see me. They'll say, `Wow, this is just like him,"' Rodman said in a phone interview. And he deals with the same issues. Rodman, known as much for his wacky looks and lifestyle off the court as his considerable success on it, said the purpose of the book is simple. "More than anything, I just want little kids today just to understand, ain't no matter what you do in life, be different, rich or poor man, guess what, it's OK to be who you are pretty much and you'll be accepted," Rodman said. SI.com

January 30, 2013 | 06:03 PM ET Update

Sources told ESPN.com that the Grizzlies will acquire forward Ed Davis and veteran guard Jose Calderon from the Raptors and then move Calderon on to a third team to ultimately make this a three-team deal. The Detroit Pistons, sources said, are one of the prime options to take on Calderon, having pursued the Spanish floor leader all season. ESPN.com

The Grizzlies want a small forward out of the trade and Detroit has two believed to be available: Tayshaun Prince and Corey Maggette. But Memphis, sources said, is talking to at least one other team about taking on Calderon and is expected to receive a second-round pick from Toronto as part of the deal. The Raptors, sources said, are expected to take on Grizzlies reserve center Hamed Haddadi in addition to Gay. ESPN.com

The Memphis Grizzlies have agreed to send small forward Rudy Gay and center Hamed Haddadi to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for point guard Jose Calderon and forward Ed Davis, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. Calderon is expected to be sent to a third team, however, with Detroit the most likely and Boston and Dallas also in the mix. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the deal has not been finalized. USA Today Sports

Boston’s view of the world has changed somewhat due to the Rondo injury and league sources say Boston wants to see how their squad handles life without Rondo for a few games before they decide whether to blow things up. League sources familiar with the talks with Boston say that this won’t be an ordinary decision for Boston on Pierce and that they are overly sensitive to Paul’s history and historic value to the franchise and that while he may be the best trade chip they have to cash, deciding to ultimately move him is going to be a very thought out and deliberate process. HoopsWorld

NBA Commissioner David Stern has named Brook Lopez to the Eastern Conference All-Star Team, replacing Rajon Rondo who tore his ACL Sunday. For Lopez, it will be his first All-Star appearance. For the Nets, he is the 13th Net selected and the first Brooklyn Net. NetsDaily

January 30, 2013 | 05:52 PM ET Update
January 30, 2013 | 05:06 PM ET Update

Oden is preparing for a return to the NBA next season, with Miami and Cleveland earlier reported as the frontrunners to land the 7-footer. Several clubs have been in touch with Oden's representatives about possibly signing him this year, according to league sources. ESPN.com

Chris Broussard: In addition 2 Heat & Cavs, San Antonio, New Orleans, Charlotte, Indiana & Dallas r interested in Greg Oden, sources say. Decision n 3-4 wks Twitter @Chris_Broussard

The BBVA Rising Stars Challenge -- televised live nationally on TNT at 9 p.m. ET and broadcast live on ESPN Radio, with live audio also available on NBA.com in multiple languages -- features two teams each consisting of nine rookies and sophomores mixed together, drafted from a pool selected by the NBA's assistant coaches. Joining Irving from the Sophomore class are: Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets), Brandon Knight (Detroit Pistons), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs), Chandler Parsons (Houston Rockets), Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers), Nikola Vucevic (Orlando Magic), and Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats). Davis and Lillard lead a group of rookies that includes Harrison Barnes (Warriors) Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards), Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Bobcats), Alexey Shved (Minnesota Timberwolves), Dion Waiters (Cavaliers), and Tyler Zeller (Cavaliers). Oregonian

January 30, 2013 | 02:43 PM ET Update

Oden’s agent, Mike Conley, said in a phone interview Wednesday with FOX Sports Florida that Oden could visit Miami as soon as next week. “We haven’t set it up yet but we want to go down there and meet with (the Heat) and get to know them and vice-versa,’’ Conley said. FOXSports Florida

The Cavaliers could offer Oden more money. And while they are are hardly championship caliber, they do benefit by being just up the road from where Oden played at Ohio State. “There’s definitely interest (in Cleveland) because obviously he’s from Ohio State and so there’s a lot of synergy there with that team,’’ Conley said of Oden, who is from Indianapolis, and the Cavaliers. “That's sort of a home-state team, so Cleveland would make sense also.’’ Regarding Boston, Conley said he could “see that definitely being a possibility’’ down the road as a destination. FOXSports Florida

matt (london, canada) if indeed the rumours are true of GAY for Ed Davis + Jose C somewhere why in the world would the raps do this. BC save his job? Davis has been a revelation and will never demand the 17 mill that GAY makes. Chad Ford (1:05 PM) 1. I think the "rumors" are more than rumors at this point. The two sides have been talking and have basically a rough framework for a deal dependent on them finding another team to take on Calderon. 2. The Raptors have been stuck in neutral for a while, they aren't landing a better play than Gay in free agency and while you're right Davis has been good, the Grizzlies aren't just giving Gay away for free. Grizzlies fans will argue that Memphis isn't getting enough. 3. Finally Bryan Colangelo has loved Gay since his college days. He was seriously torn between Gay and Bargnani on draft night. I think he feels like if he unites them, the Raptors instantly get better. ESPN.com

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed forward/center Chris Andersen to a second 10-day contract. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Andersen, who was signed to a 10-day contract by the HEAT on January 20, appeared in one game with Miami totaling two points and two rebounds in four minutes of action. NBA.com

Rose's rehab from his April 28 injury and May 12 surgery has steadily progressed to the point where there are no longer any physical limitations. "He's full contact, yeah," Thibodeau said before Wednesday's morning shootaround as the Bulls prepared to face the Milwaukee Bucks. The likely date of Rose's return is after the Feb. 17 All-Star Game. "He can do all the cutting, he can do shooting, he can go off the dribble," Thibodeau said. "So it's just a matter of him getting acclimated to playing in a game situation. ESPN.com

January 30, 2013 | 01:13 PM ET Update

Moore was in Philadelphia visiting with Sixers owner Josh Harris and CEO Adam Aron about reconnecting Iverson with the 76ers. Iverson led the Sixers to the 2001 NBA Finals and is cemented as one of the franchise's all-time great players. He is the franchise leader in 40-point games (76) and three-pointers (885), and is second behind Hal Greer in points (19,931). He had two stints with the Sixers, and last played for them in 2009-10. Moore said there are no immediate plans for the 37-year-old Iverson to retire. "Once he does do that, I want to ensure that Josh Harris and Adam Aron know how much Allen appreciates what Philadelphia has meant to him, what the NBA has meant to him," Moore said, "and to someday come back and be a consultant to them, to help them do certain things." Philadelphia Inquirer

But Iguodala reveals one. "I learned one move from Joe Johnson which is pretty funny," he says. "Sometimes when they're driving or want to get open and they're pushing off on me, they push off a lot, and they get away with it. So when they push off, I just lean back, but I grab their hand with me, so as they're pushing me, I grab them so they gotta come with me. When they're trying to come off and I'm holding that, that gives me a second to recover. That's them shooting the ball or catching and shooting the ball, right there is one second. So I'm back in front just by doing that." CBSSports.com

Great offensive players are allowed to freelance as much as they want. If they feel like they can take their man, their coach will trust them to do just that (to a point). It's more complicated with defenders, and Iguodala says that's mostly on account of judging who he's playing with, or against. "If I'm playing with Andre Miller, I can gamble a little bit more. Or if there's a certain point guard I'm going up against who's not really an attacker, then I really can gamble. I can gamble off non-shooters. It's just the personnel, who I'm playing with and who I'm playing against. Right, if I'm playing Kevin Durant, I'm not really freelancing too much, I'm just making sure he doesn't get an easy look." CBSSports.com

"Whereas the bigs, we don't have any dominant centers anymore. No low-post guys like Shaq, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, even Rik Smits. We still have Tim Duncan playing, but those guys, when they were playing, they could get 30 and 15 every night. "That's when it was tough to guard in the post. And the big had to help on rotations. Bigs nowadays don't have to exert as much energy. Most of the time it's help-side, blocks, having to help on penetration and block a shot. Slide over two feet and get in help position. CBSSports.com

For one thing, it's hard to deduce the level of White's current focus on basketball. In a theoretical universe, there's no question he could contribute to just about any team in the league: He's an ultraphysical point forward who can consistently get to the rim.2 He's a deft passer3 and an intelligent rebounder. Yet when I ask how much basketball he's been playing during this long stretch of inactivity, his answer is that he's hardly been playing at all. "I work out very sparingly, to be honest," White says. "I probably shoot once a week."4 He's also currently experiencing the short-term reward of untested potential: As long as White doesn't play (and as long as his weaknesses remain unexposed), his reputation as a game-changer can only grow. Grantland

But then he continues talking. And this is where it becomes difficult to see how White and the Rockets will ever find real common ground, even if he eventually ends up on their roster. "But if you want to talk about it through that lens, every player should have their own doctor. The reality is that American businesses are built on the idea of cutting overhead. And how do we cut overhead?" White points to the door that leads from the patio to the main restaurant. "Why do restaurants put exit signs over every exit? I bet if Cheesecake Factory didn't have to do that, they wouldn't. Because it would cost less to do nothing. They have to be forced to do that. So if a team or a business can save money by making things less safe, they're going to do that. They don't care. It's a conflict of interest to have the team doctor paid by the team. What we need is a doctor who can look at a situation and say, 'Listen, I know the team wants you to do this, and I know their doctor is saying you should do this. But as a non-biased doctor with no interest in how you perform athletically, I recommend differently.' Right now, you have players pushing themselves back in three weeks who have three-month injuries." Grantland

Do you believe 26 percent of the league is dealing with a mental illness, or does mental illness prompt those dealing with it to self-select themselves out of the pool? Are you the rare exception who got drafted? Royce White: The amount of NBA players with mental health disorders is way over 26 percent. My suggestion would be to ask David Stern how many players in the league he thinks have a marijuana problem. Whatever number he gives you, that's the number with mental illness. A chemical imbalance is a mental illness. So, wait … if somebody has a drinking problem, is that — That's a mental illness. A gambling addiction is a mental illness. Addiction is a mental illness. Grantland

OK, just so I get this right: You're arguing that most Americans have a mental illness. Exactly. That's definitely correct. But — if that's true — wouldn't that mean "mental illness" is just a normative condition? That it's just how people are? That doesn't make it normal. This is based on science. If there was a flu epidemic, and 60 percent of the country had the flu, it wouldn't make it normal … the problem is growing, and it's growing because there's a subtle war — in America, and in the world — between business and health. It's no secret that 2 percent of the human population controls all the wealth and the resources, and the other 98 percent struggle their whole life to try and attain it. Right? And what ends up happening is that the 2 percent leave the 98 percent to struggle and struggle and struggle, and they eventually build up these stresses and conditions. So … this is about late capitalism? Definitely. Definitely. Grantland

Royce White: "As much as we want to think that these are just people behind computer screens, those people are living next door to you," he says. "They are people behind computer screens in schools. In hospitals. Working in Washington, D.C. These are real people. How many times does this stuff have to happen before we admit something really disturbing is going on here? I think one person tweeting 'Fuck you, go kill yourself' is disturbing. But when you get into the hundreds of those tweets? The thousands of those tweets? I see a lot of people out there with really volatile mental disorders that are not getting help. Because I go to their own Twitter pages, and I can see they're not just sending those messages to me. They're sending them to a bunch of people. I mean, if you tweet at me five times in seven minutes because I'm not playing for a team you have no real connection to? That is not good. That suggests mental illness. And even if you say, 'But I love this team to death,' it means you've put too much investment into entertainment. It's probably not good for you." Grantland

I also spoke with Daryl Morey, the Rockets general manager. He declined to make any on-the-record statements, but he seems to have a pretty reasonable view on White's potential future. Morey also mentioned that the true risk of selecting White was not as severe as many people think, since only about 20 percent of players drafted 16th overall end up having major NBA careers anyway. Grantland

Then James took his turn at the Heat's morning shootaround, saying the Nets quit on Avery Johnson. “They are not doing anything different. They are playing with more passion, more together, they are playing like they want to play for their coach,” James said. “It sucks that Avery had to take the hit of them not wanting to play at a high level, but that's what it looks like to me. They haven't changed their offense, they haven't changed their defense. They've picked it up in intensity level and you can tell they like to play for PJ.” New York Daily News

January 30, 2013 | 10:37 AM ET Update

In a proposed deal, Memphis would likely receive another young Raptors player and a future draft pick, sources said. The Grizzlies have unsuccessfully tried to pry Raptors rookie Terrence Ross as part of the deal, sources said. Toronto has deemed Ross untouchable in these talks. Yahoo! Sports

Though player liaison Keyon Dooling would consider coming out of retirement, Ainge said yesterday that the former Celtics guard is not an option. Boston Herald

Instead, he wants to see what a rotation devoid of Rondo’s ballhandling can do. Though it’s been suggested Rondo’s domination of the ball has caused teammates to stop moving, Ainge wants to see now if those same players are forced into better movement without the ball. “A lot of people have something to say about the ball movement on this team, but what I think is important is player movement,” he said. “Sometimes Rondo ends up dribbling more because our players don’t move enough. But now we will need players to expand their game. We need our (guards) and Paul (Pierce) to step up their games. We need Avery (Bradley) to step up.” Boston Herald

Former Ohio State star Greg Oden is confident he will return to the NBA after his many knee injuries, but he would not venture a guess about whether he'll wind up in Cleveland. "I'm worried about the knee," he told The Plain Dealer when asked if the Cavs could be a destination for him. "That's it." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Johnson's 10-day deal expires Friday after the Griz host the Washington Wizards. Memphis can only sign Johnson to a maximum of two 10-day contracts, or ink him for the rest of the season. A second 10-day deal would essentially have Johnson helping the Griz until they reach All-Star Weekend. "I root for these between-the-crack guys," general manager Chris Wallace said. "He's a confident guy without being overbearing about it. He's been a seamless fit. Hopefully, he can keep it up." Memphis Commercial Appeal

Wallace and vice president of basketball operations John Hollinger were impressed by Johnson last month at the D-League showcase. Wallace was sold when he later booked a trip to Reno to watch Griz rookie Tony Wroten. Circumstances dictated that Wroten remain with Memphis but Wallace went to Reno anyway. Coincidently, Johnson was in town with his Rio Grande Valley squad, providing for that team exactly what he's giving the Griz. "The best thing is he's not a guy who needs the ball," Wallace said. "He's not a ball-stopper. We didn't need a guy coming in who needed to monopolize the ball to score." Memphis Commercial Appeal

Zach Lowe says Courtney Lee has been very unhappy in Boston due to his frustration w/ Rondo's game... Lowe was on Bill Simmons' show yesterday and mentioned that he's heard that Courtney Lee has been unhappy w/ C's Rondo led offense. First I've heard of this. Here's the exact quote around the 53 minute mark: Sulia

"I've heard through back channels that Courtney Lee has been really unhappy in Boston, because he feels like the whole offense is Rondo pounding the ball and doesn't get to do anything." Sulia

The former four-time All-Star, who recently bristled when moved to a bench role as D'Antoni placed Earl Clark in the starting lineup, expressed his displeasure after the game. "I'm a competitor, I'm a guy that thinks I bring a lot to the table, and not being on the floor is something that I don't like, I don't appreciate," Gasol said. ESPN.com

Steve Nash strolled out into the hallway well before 11 p.m., on his way to the bus -- on his way to an emotional night in the city where he unveiled his unique brand of basketball artistry for so long. On his way to the loudest cheers in that arena since he left. "Standing ovation," teammate Kobe Bryant said, when asked to predict how Nash will be received in Phoenix on Wednesday night. "For sure. Without question." CBSSports.com

Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge capped a 21-point comeback with a game-winning turnaround jumper at the buzzer to defeat the Mavericks 106-104 in Portland on Tuesday night. Aldridge scored five points in the final five seconds, including his first three of the season, to deliver the home victory. The Blazers set up their final possession on a sideline inbounds play with 1.5 seconds remaining in regulation and the score tied at 104. Aldridge received the inbounds pass just outside the left block, turning towards the baseline to fire the turnaround calmly over the outstretched arm of Brandan Wright. The shot dropped through as the buzzer sounded. “This is what you live for,” Aldridge said of his game-winner. “That one felt great. That one felt real easy.” SI.com

All appeared normal for the Pistons two nights after Frank deactivated Stuckey in the Pistons' victory at Orlando. It was confirmed minutes later when Frank told the media Stuckey would assume his spot in the playing rotation against the Bucks later that evening. Neither would disclose the reason for the disciplinary measure, but both admitted there was a difference of opinion. "Things happen every single day," Frank said. "So with it, you deal with it and you move on. "I'm one of those guys, I put it out there and we move on. There's no grudges; you just move from it." Detroit Free Press

Stuckey was in a joking mood with reporters, who noted his missing front tooth from a collision in December. He said he has a retainer and has to wait a little bit for a more permanent solution, saying he wasn't cool with the hockey-player look. But kidding aside, Stuckey said he was cool with Frank. They hashed out their issues during an optional workout Monday afternoon and all issues are apparently resolved. "We good," Stuckey said. "Me and (Frank) are fine. Sometimes you have disagreements with one another. He did what he had to do, and I respect that." Detroit Free Press

But then there are times like Sunday and the Heat’s 100-98 loss to the Celtics. In a game that Heat coach Erik Spoelstra called one of his team’s most inefficient of the season, Bosh attempted just three shots in the second half and overtime periods. It was as if James, Wade and Ray Allen completely forgot that Bosh, whose 54.3 percent field-goal shooting leads the Heat, was on the floor. “He’s one of our best players, one of our best shooters. …Three shots is definitely not enough for him,” James said. “We’ve got to do a better job of just trying to find him.” Miami Herald

The "burden" that LeBron James felt for years has been lifted, obviously. Less obvious is how it's allowed him to be much more sincere, and you see that he seems to genuinely treasure what basketball is giving him right now. In a weird twist, the guy who carried himself from 2008 to 2010 like basketball owed him something now carries himself every night like a guy who owes something to basketball. -- Ian. Ira Winderman: It is refreshing to see that people and players can change, especially this person and this player. Several in the audience Monday at the White House took note of his humility, and these are Washington media types who have no trouble detecting phonies. South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Payne, a junior, said he's not paying attention to the NBA hype that has steadily built over the past six games — a wise strategy for a player who's finally beginning to live up to his recruiting hype. "I'm not even looking at that right now — people start looking at that, and they go down the drain,'' Payne said following Tuesday's practice. "I just want to play better and better. I've got another year. "I want to be a solid player, I want to play in the post, be able to face up, be able to be an all-around player, guard different types of players,'' Payne said, asked what's ahead for him. Booth Newspapers

Speaking of friends, several in the coaching community have counseled Carlesimo to be a softer, friendlier coach than he has been in the past, believing it would serve him well coming in after Avery's similarly hard-ass style. PJ has long been known as one of the most gregarious and personable guys off the court and outside of practice or games but an absolute tyrant, particularly behind closed gym doors. Those same friends have been encouraged by seeing Carlesimo sitting down and talking casually with various players from Andray Blatche to Deron Williams. Can an old dog, you know...? Sulia

Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman missed much of Tuesday's practice while he accompanied his wife, Mary Kay, on a doctor's visit and afterward talked for the first time about the seizures that have caused both of them to seek doctors' expertise for the past three weeks. "They have no idea why," Adelman said. "There's no rhyme or reason why she had it. Usually it's you bump your head sometime or something happened or you're sick. They have no reason. That has been the hardest part, is not knowing why. "It's just a process now. We have no clue why it has happened, no one can figure it out. Now it's a matter of finding out how do you manage them and what do you do with it. How do you go forward? That's why today was one more of those days." Minneapolis Star-Tribune

A source with inside knowledge of the NBA, who declined to speak for attribution because the NBA has called for a no-talking policy, said the league is clearly signaling it wants a proposal from Sacramento. "Sacramento has a real fighting chance," the source said. The NBA "knows how the community has responded to the team. If a deep-pocketed group buys, if the Maloofs get the same amount of money, and an arena set up, it will be difficult for the board of governors to just dismiss that." Sacramento Bee

Tiger Woods spent more than three hours playing 11 holes of golf Monday in the delayed final round of the Farmers Insurance Classic, a situation that left him quite unhappy afterward, even though he had won the tournament and its $1.08-million first prize. So how did he spend his time while standing on various tees and fairways, waiting to hit while players in front of him dwaddled along? "We talked a lot about Kobe [Bryant]," said Woods' caddie, Joe LaCava. "He loves Kobe and he couldn't believe he had 14 assists the other night. He was stoked about that." Los Angeles Times

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