HoopsHype rumors

February 5, 2013 | 08:15 PM ET Update

Randy Foye: "To tell you the truth I do see myself long-term here. Because everything from an organization, to the values they have here is me. And in the beginning I probably never would have thought it was Utah, probably thought I was a big-city guy. But this is me. I got my family here, my family really likes it here, even when my friends come out they really like it. We're from the East Coast, and all you see is life moving so fast. Everything here is kind of slow and it's just laid back and I see myself here. I love the guys here. I know the guys, we get along really well. I just picture myself being here for a while. I don't really want to talk about contract things, but I just picture I would want to be here for a long time." Salt Lake Tribune

D'Antoni continued to maintain his position through more questions while saying Simers could go to "some sniveling little rat and ask them what they think I'm thinking. But that's fine. Whatever you want to do. Y'all do y'all's job, I'll do mine." Eventually, Simers asked again if D'Antoni thought Howard was a baby, and D'Antoni retorted (not laughing): "I said no! I said no 10 times. I said no." Sulia

As a consultant to the Golden State Warriors, Jerry West has no allegiance to the Los Angeles Lakers, and no interest in seeing them make the playoffs. But that doesn't mean the Lakers Hall of Fame guard and former front-office great believes his old team will fall short in its pursuit. "I believe they're going to make the playoffs," West said Tuesday in a phone interview with ESPNNewYork.com. "Look out West, there are some teams two or three games over .500, so they can do it. ... Can the Lakers win the championship? They have to get to the playoffs first, and I think they will get there." ESPN.com

"Sometimes (the Lakers) have been good, and sometimes they just don't seem to have it," West said. "Their biggest issue has been defensively. But I think they're playing better defensively now, and Kobe's play has been extraordinary, the way he's not shooting as much and getting other people involved. "Nobody is going to want to play them in the first round. With the veterans the Lakers have, I don't think it's going to make a big difference to them if they creep in as the 6, 7 or 8 [seed]. In the playoffs, they're going to be dangerous." ESPN.com

Reed, 70, retired after serving as the Nets' general manager for eight years and the Hornets' vice president of basketball operations from 2004-07. He said he subscribes to NBA League Pass at home in Ruston, La., and often watches the Knicks -- and now gets to finally openly root as a true fan. And he said he loves what Chandler has brought them, not only rebounding but as a team leader. "He's a great team player, a great teammate," said Reed, who brought Chandler to New Orleans in a trade in 2006. "Seeing him every day, he's got a smile on his face, he talks to people and he's enthusiastic. He's the type of guy, if he's on the bench or not playing well, he's still enthusiastic for the others. And I think that rubs off on players because there's always going to be some guys who are never happy." Newsday

"They've got maturity, they've got veterans, guys who played on championship teams and been in the league a long time," Reed said. He said he has particularly enjoyed watching Amar'e Stoudemire come back healthy and thinks Carmelo Anthony has a chance at being named the MVP this season. "I've been waiting a long time, a long time," Reed said of another Knicks title. "When I talk to other guys from back then, I mean, I would have never thought . "If somebody would have said to me the Knicks would not win another championship for another 40 years, you want to bet that? I would have bet a thousand dollars and I'm not a betting man." Newsday

February 5, 2013 | 06:39 PM ET Update

Pierce doesn’t have a no-trade clause and only $5 million of his 2013-14 salary is guaranteed, which is why he has been mentioned so frequently in trade rumors. “I don’t really pay too much attention to it,” Pierce said. “Whatever happens just happens. It’s going to play out the way it’s going to play out, just like in the draft. When I got drafted, it played out the way it’s supposed to play out. So things of that nature really don’t bother me. It has no effect on how I’m going to perform, how I’m going to practice, how I’m going to approach each and every day. “I’m taking each day, day by day. I’m enjoying it, I’m enjoying my teammates, and like I said, whatever happens, it just happens. It’s out of my control.” HoopsWorld

No whale sightings at Tuesday’s press conference at Sacramento City Hall. Instead, mayor Kevin Johnson provided a brief update on the city’s effort to keep the Kings. Below are some of the highlights. The mayor had originally intended to announce the major equity investors sometime last week. Though there’s been a delay, Johnson claims that it’s not a cause for concern. ”You have a commitment by the city that that we want to be smart and do our due diligence,” Johnson said. ”The whales and equity investors – they’re doing their due diligence. They have a deal they have to put together. They have to look at the economics of an arena. They have to look at the economics of buying a team. All those things just take time and I will tell you that everybody’s working around the clock.” He now hopes to announce them some time this week or next. Cowbell Kingdom

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman made a promotional appearance Saturday in Naperville to sign copies of "Dennis the Wild Bull," recently published in paperback and as an e-book. Chicagoans who hear the name Dennis Rodman think of the basketball player who helped Michael Jordan and the Bulls win three NBA championships. Chicago Tribune

February 5, 2013 | 04:59 PM ET Update

A frustrated Doc Rivers on Tuesday called the recent trade rumors swirling around the Boston Celtics' stars "silly" and driven solely by the media, while a couple of the players who have been the subject of those rumors blew them off as just part of life at this time of year. "All from [the media]," the Celtics' coach said of trade rumors. "None from us. Really. I would like to say that. Sometimes I like [the media], sometimes, some of the stuff that happens is just silly. It really is. When I wake up in the morning and I hear a trade rumor that I haven't heard in my office, that's silly, and that's what happens." Rivers continued: "I heard one report -- I honestly did -- that me, [Los Angeles Clippers guard] Chauncey [Billups], Kevin [Garnett] and Paul [Pierce] had dinner. And I was like, 'I wish I would have known about it. That would have been terrific, because I would have made them pay and I could have had a free dinner.' "But it's just silly what goes on. And I don't think it's honestly [the Boston media]. I think someone can sit behind a computer and write something. The problem is, now you guys have to actually report it, which you shouldn't do. But you do, and it becomes an issue." ESPN.com

The hottest rumor making the rounds was the Clippers taking an interest in acquiring Garnett, a deal sources told ESPN had not been discussed by the two teams. According to a Sporting News report, the Clippers would send Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler to Boston as part of the deal. "Well [Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] made it very, very obvious since day one, since he brought Ray Allen and myself here to be aligned with Paul [Pierce] that he was going to do whatever is best for this organization," said Garnett, who can block any deal with his no-trade clause. "He's always made that apparent, so I've always understood that. I bleed green, I die green, that's what it is. But it is a business and when that crosses the paths, I deal with it. But trades are a part of this league. Every year you're going to hear certain things. If I were y'all, I wouldn't read too much into it." ESPN.com

Danny Ainge on if the Celtics have any plans on replacing Rajon Rondo: “Not right now. There’s a lot of reasons we’re not just jumping out and doing something right now. There really is nobody you’re going to find to replace Rondo through trade or through free agent acquisition at this time of year with our inflexibility. We like the guys. (Leandro) Barbosa has been dying for a chance to play, Jason Terry, Avery (Bradley) playing some more point, I think all those guys are looking for an opportunity so I think it’s a chance for us to see those guys play without Rondo playing and just see what they’re capable of doing.” Sports Radio Interviews

Danny Ainge on whether he has talked to Paul Pierce about a possible trade given that he could be an asset at the deadline: “No, because nothing has been talked about with Paul (Pierce) or discussed. Nothing is close to being done. I too would like to see Paul Pierce retire as a Celtic. That would be great. We’re all attached to Paul. Paul has been great for the city, the franchise, each of us individually and a true pro. Having said that, if something came up I would talk to Paul but my job is to do what is best for the Boston Celtics fans, for the Boston Celtics team and what’s in the best interest of our team regardless of my personal ties or personal relationships with players.” Sports Radio Interviews

A source close to new Raptors forward Rudy Gay said he was happy about leaving the Grizzlies. The Raptors’ up-tempo offense will be better suited for the fashionable Gay, as will living in metropolitan Toronto. Yahoo! Sports

Royce White on what it would take for him to play in the NBA: “We are already there. We came to an agreement where we basically said we’re going to hit the reset button and start over and the premise of that reset is going to be, we’re going to acknowledge that anxiety disorder does exist, we’re going to acknowledge that it is a disability, we’re going to acknowledge that under ADA law that it does require reasonable accommodation, it requires care and understanding because it’s a very new topic for the NBA, professional sports and really everybody. That’s what we did here and I was comfortable with that and hopefully going forward we will get an official protocol in place that gets into some real detail of how the school system’s and colleges and how other people in the medical world have been successful with treating mental health.” Sports Radio Interviews

Dallas Mavericks center Chris Kaman, who hasn't been cleared to practice and won't until he passes the NBA-mandated test for players who sustain concussions, had some choice words Tuesday for the league's protocol. "I got to take it tomorrow," Kaman said about the test after doing some light shooting Tuesday. "It's the stupidest test ever. "For so many years in the NBA, they never had to do that stuff and now they come up with all that concussion protocol crap. It's not cool, but it is cool, I guess. It keeps people safe. I just try to do the right things and wait until I can pass the test." ESPN.com

Ten days before union chief Billy Hunter's future will be decided, Lakers star Kobe Bryant said Tuesday that most NBA players -- including himself -- are "pretty ignorant" about the issues. "I'm pretty ignorant to what the issues are going to be when we show up, so I don't know," Bryant said at the team's shootaround in preparation for Tuesday night's game in Brooklyn against the Nets. "I'm pretty sure most of the players are, so we'll have to educate ourselves. Will a vote come? Probably. We've just got to make sure we're educated enough to make the right the decision." CBSSports.com

Given his close relationship with union president Derek Fisher, whose complaints about Hunter led to the nine-month review, Bryant was surprisingly noncommittal about Hunter's future. Bryant said he has not spoken with Fisher about the matter. "I think he represented us as well as he possibly could," Bryant said of Hunter. "You could always wish that you had a better deal. The fact is the owners are going to have leverage as long as they continue to own teams. That's just how it is. They can continue to lock us out for as long as they want. "Strategically, maybe we can come up with different angles and different ways of going about doing things that could possibly put us in a better position," he said. "But ultimately, the owners are the ones who have the leverage." CBSSports.com

You said that your idol was Allen Iverson, an anti-basketball player as a lot of people think, one who would only play for himself. Did your taste change with age or not? Alexey Shved: Allen Iverson is a genius. Yes, he didn’t get his ring, but he was able to outplay the entire opponent’s team. I think he is the most skilled NBA player of all time. Rush'n Hoops

You are a fan of The Simpsons and of Homer Simpson in particular. What in America made you recall some of the scenes from the cartoon? Alexey Shved: Well, that everybody loves donuts here, and I eat them too. People mostly drink beer and not stronger drinks, exactly like in The Simpsons. Why did you decide to cut your hair only in America, even though in CSKA you ignored whenever someone even hinted about it? Alexey Shved: I wanted to change something. And now I already miss my hair. I don’t care what people on the outside advice me to do. I only listen to my relatives and those who are close, and they would always explain it to me about what I should do. If I want it, I will grow my hair again. It doesn’t make me play worse. Rush'n Hoops

An NBA All-Star Game could deliver $16 million more in direct visitor spending than a Final Four. Visit Indy and CIB officials seem to be at a loss for why this event hasn’t been pursued more aggressively. Pacers President Jim Morris said the Pacers would love to host it, but Bankers Life Fieldhouse’s schedule is simply packed. Really? Too crowded for an event with this type of economic impact? Apparently, it’s not just the Fieldhouse schedule that’s crowded. “Sometimes, even when we might be available, hotel rooms might not be available” because of sporting events or conventions held elsewhere downtown," said Rick Fuson, the Pacers chief operating officer. Indianapolis Business Journal

Despite competition from other cities, if Indianapolis throws its hat in the ring, it surely will be able to work its way into the hosting schedule, said David Morton, president of locally based Sunrise Sports Group. He sees Lucas Oil Stadium, which proved its mettle as a basketball venue when it staged the 2010 NCAA men’s Final Four, as the ideal location. The NBA has gone both big and small with past venues. The 2010 game was in Cowboys Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, while this year’s game is at Toyota Center, home of the Houston Rockets. There’s one consideration Pacers officials aren’t likely to address publicly. In recent years, some NBA all-star games have been marred by violence and other mayhem. So the security costs would be considerable. But this seems surmountable for a city that has become known as one of the most creative nationwide for hosting sporting events. Indianapolis Business Journal

February 5, 2013 | 12:47 PM ET Update

On the Celtics’ side, sources say Danny Ferry and his front office have kicked the tires on a number of things, but trading Garnett has never been one they have seriously considered. Garnett does have a no-trade provision in his contract and has made it clear he would only entertain waiving it if teammate Paul Pierce were traded, if Doc Rivers was fired or if the deal was to an LA team, so at least there is a window. Sources point to Garnett’s undying loyalty to Rivers and Pierce as key reasons he would block a trade,and with the Celtics riding a four-game winning streak its highly unlikely Garnett approves a move. HoopsWorld

And while the Lakers would, at least in theory, get a good player or two back in exchange for Pau, finding one who can simultaneously fit well with Howard and stand in for him while fitting their longer term needs is a tricky proposition. Moreover, it's hard to believe the Lakers could make a major deal involving Pau and get the all the pieces working cohesively over twentysomething games. Sulia

Waiting until after the All-Star break might be too late to sign Amundson, but the Knicks still have Henry Sims in their backyard. He's been tearing it up on the Knicks' D-League team, the Erie BayHawks, with high double-doubles on a consistent basis. While the Knicks are currently settled on their 15-man roster, Sims is definitely on the team's radar. "They want to see if Henry is a young big they could add to their core group," a source close to Sims said. "I think if Henry keeps playing as he is, they would need to look now." ESPN.com

Marc Stein: That means Metta World Peace is suspended for tonight's game in Brooklyn. One-game suspension costs him almost $66,000 in salary Twitter @ESPNSteinLine

A head scout from the East added: "This is about Dwight ... he's not totally committed to being there and playing in that system. Under Mike Brown, he was going to be a focal point. When you make the coaching change and move to the style of play D'Antoni prefers, it doesn't include making sure the ball goes through Dwight and back out in order to get the offense going. His effort has been comical at times. He wants the ball but has no intention of working for it." NBA.com

"Dwight is not the same as he was before that back injury," a West team's personnel man said. "He just doesn't get off the floor as quick as he used to. You see him play against guys he's dominated in the past and they are outworking him on the glass and beating him up and down the floor. There was a time when no big man in the league could match Dwight in those areas. That back injury has really put a cramp in his game. ... That's why you have to find a way to get him and Gasol playing off of each other. This idea that you bring Gasol off the bench as his backup is crazy. There's no way you play to your strengths by doing that." NBA.com

As the schedule revs into its fourth month, the Lakers, supposedly "insta-contenders" like the 2007-08 Celtics, have gained familiarity. But that doesn't mean they fit. "This is a team that has the puzzle parts, but they might not all come from the same puzzle," said one respected NBA scout. "It shows that putting together a team is not always just a matter of getting the 'best' or the 'most best' players together. On one hand, you might have been able to get better results faster if you put Nash together with Howard and let them pick-and-roll everybody to death. When you're mixing in Kobe and Pau, guys who have played a different style in a different system, you're forcing things." NBA.com

"People act like this is a Kobe issue and he's not the problem," an Eastern Conference exec said. "The problem is he's trying to do the work, at least on defense, of both guards. He's trying to guard the guy Nash needs to be guarding. And that doesn't allow the Lakers to play on a string defensively because you can't hide Nash. He's a defensive liability, same as he's been for years ... With the Lakers, his inability to deal with younger, more physical and more athletic point guards has been a huge issue." NBA.com

Hunter understands the frustration from Turner and Majerle, but, "I don't feel guilty," he said. "This is what we all work for. We never know how it's going to come or when it's going to come. The thing we have to do is prepare the best we can for when it does come." Yahoo! Sports

Lindsey Hunter had staying power as an NBA player, sticking around the league largely as a reserve point guard for 17 seasons as a product of Jackson State. Now he's looking to prove he can stay in the league as more than just interim head coach of the Phoenix Suns, a promotion that didn't go over well with some in the Suns' organization. "I've been hated on my whole life," Hunter told Yahoo! Sports. "Why should it be any different now? "I don't care. But if people aren't hating on you that means you're not making an impact. Prominent people in our country were hated on because they made an impact." Yahoo! Sports

Hunter has taken the lead on the defense while Kokoskov is in charge of the offense. With no training camp or much practice, Dudley said Hunter can't put his stamp on the team and break bad habits. "No situation will ever be ideal," Hunter said. "But what are you going to do? You go in with your hardhat on and go to work." This wasn't Hunter's first shot at a head coaching job. The Orlando Magic were so intrigued by Hunter that he interviewed last summer for their top spot despite a lack of coaching experience (Hunter started his front-office career with the Chicago Bulls in 2010 when he became a player development assistant). He was brought back for a second interview before the Magic hired Jacque Vaughn. "That was great preparation for me, perfect preparation for me," Hunter said. Yahoo! Sports

Hunter said he received 102 text messages after he became interim coach. Texters included one of his ex-coaches, Larry Brown, as well as former teammates Rip Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Grant Hill. He also talked to Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers and Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson, both former point guards who landed coaching jobs without experience. "He's a guy who doesn't think he knows all of the answers," Jackson said. "He loves the game. He has been around some great minds. He is going to be just fine. I think it's great that he has the opportunity." Yahoo! Sports

February 5, 2013 | 08:20 AM ET Update

"If this coach stays and Dwight Howard remains with the Lakers," I asked, "what about you?" "It would be hard for me to deal with another season knowing the facts you just mentioned," said Gasol, 32 and with one year remaining on his contract. "So do you ask for a fresh start elsewhere?" "It's a possibility," he said, "yes." Los Angeles Times

He will not request a trade before this month's deadline, he said, although he knows there is interest from other teams for a starting center and he will be returning to the bench soon. "I'm not a quitter," he said. "Just because things look better on the other side of the fence, I'm not going to take the easy way out. "I have a certain level of loyalty here, and I've been through a lot of great, amazing things. And there have been others that have been hurtful. But that's life. "I don't have cancer, my mom wasn't dying and I'm still playing basketball. I love the Lakers and Los Angeles, and none of that has changed just because certain things are out of my control." Los Angeles Times

The Clippers are not pursuing Boston Celtics center Kevin Garnett despite what has been reported, according to NBA officials who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. Furthermore, the Clippers’ front office has not had any conversations with Boston’s front office about a rumored deal in which L.A. would use back-up point guard Eric Bledsoe and small forward Caron Butler as the centerpieces to acquire Garnett, said the officials. Los Angeles Times

One thing that comes up whenever the prospect of the Boston Celtics making a move with Kevin Garnett is the fact that he has a no-trade clause, and, thus, can’t be dealt. That’s only partially true. No-trade clauses are rare in the NBA, because they can be given only to a player with eight years in the league, four with his current team. Only four players—Garnett, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki—have them. But any of those four could be traded as long as he gives his consent. There’s no telling whether any of those four would actually agree to a trade (presumably, at least Duncan and Bryant never would), but, of course, teams can’t know that unless they inquire. Sporting News

Seven-year veteran Lou Amundson has been around long enough to know how the NBA works, to know that by Friday he could be traded or waived so the Timberwolves can resign Mickael Gelabale and Chris Johnson for the rest of the season. His agent has been talking to other teams about a possible trade, and Amundson in turn has been talking to his agent about whether the Wolves can deal him to a playoff contender for a protected second-round pick or if they'll waive him to clear a roster spot the Wolves will need if they intend to keep both players. "It's a business, so you have to think ahead with that stuff," Amundson said. "Everything's on the table right now. You never like to get traded, but sometimes the situation isn't what you hope it to be, and so it can work out for the best sometimes." Minneapolis Star-Tribune

One has to wonder, deep down, if Harkless has revenge on his mind for Monday's game. Here he was, all settled in, waiting to start his career with the Sixers, and then came the trade. He laughed when asked if he wanted to prove the Sixers wrong, prove that he would've been a key addition. "At the end of the day it's business," Harkless said. "There's no hard feelings at all. I stood with those guys in the front office, and the coaches in Philly, you know, they're cool people. So, there's no hard feelings." He recapped how he heard the news on Aug. 9. Harkless was at a Wal-Mart in Queens with his uncle when his agent called and told him he'd be in Orlando by the end of the night. "I was surprised," Harkless said. "But I felt like it was a good opportunity in Orlando, and I'd try to make the best of it." CSNPhilly.com

Spoelstra has left little doubt about the Heat wanting to sign center Chris Andersen for the remainder of the season after his second 10-day contract expires Friday. "We made this transaction early enough that we'll have plenty of time to get him in shape," Spoelstra said of bringing Andersen in Jan. 20 for his first 10-day deal. "But it will take some time. We'll be patient." FOXSports Florida

Miami last week signed rookie forward Jarvis Varnado for the rest of the season after his second 10-day deal expired. Varnado told FOX Sports Florida before Monday's game he also signed for next season, a deal that is not guaranteed. Varnado, who will make a prorated $473,604 this season and is under contract next season for $788,872, expects to be with the Heat for summer league and for training camp next fall as they continue to evaluate him. FOXSports Florida

Dwight Howard knows how all the attention surrounding his exit from the Orlando Magic created a "Dwightmare" situation for everyone involved and he wants to avoid the negative spotlight with his free agency decision looming in Los Angeles. "I'm not a crybaby," Howard told ESPN's Stephen A. Smith on SportsCenter on Monday. "I didn't try to cry my way out of Orlando. That was never my intention, or not what I did at all. And I understand everybody thought it was that way because of what was being put out there. I'm not indecisive. I love this game. You know I play it because it inspires me; it inspires millions of kids around me, adults and all. And, I'm going to have fun while I do it." ESPN.com

The Lakers have made it clear that they want Howard to be a keystone for the franchise moving forward, with general manager Mitch Kupchak telling Newsday this week that the center will not be traded, but Howard does not want to focus on the future just yet. "I understand, you know, what the Lakers want," Howard said. "And I also understand that right now, there's no need for all the circus, and all the stuff that happened last year to start back up. I don't want it, my team doesn't need it, I don't need it, and frankly, our fans don't need it neither." ESPN.com

"Well with my back you know, it's not all the way there, 75 percent," Howard said. "And with my shoulder, it's day to day. This is the first year recovering off of a back surgery. I really don't think people understand the severity of the surgery and the injury, and how long it takes to recover. Even sitting down in this chair right now is causing my legs to go numb, and just having this tingling sensation all the way down my legs. So, that happens when I'm playing. That happens when I'm just sitting on the bench for a couple minutes. It's not easy." ESPN.com

In fact, he refused to blame D'Antoni for misusing him. "He has his philosophy and system, and the Lakers hired him," said Gasol. "It's not his fault. "His philosophy is to play with one big guy and four guys spread out, so then he had to make a decision: Dwight or Pau?" It was an easy decision. The Lakers are committed to making Howard happy so he will return. "That is correct," Gasol said. And Gasol is under contract for next season. "There you go," he said. "I understand that." Los Angeles Times

"Nothing is going to change, but I have no doubt we could coexist and dominate every single game," Gasol said, the proof in how well he played alongside his brother for Spain. "I believe 100% if I was starting inside with Dwight we could make the playoffs. I just don't know if coming off the bench gives the team a chance to be better and win more games." Los Angeles Times

Jim Buss said recently he was told by D'Antoni that Gasol was a happy camper now because D'Antoni was saving Gasol's knees and prolonging his career. It was amusing news to Gasol, who played 37 minutes against Minnesota and 40 versus Detroit. "Never heard that," he said. Los Angeles Times

Chris Bosh believes the Miami Heat are about to make history. And he doesn't care how it's done. The Heat center is expecting his coach, Erik Spoelstra, to name him to start the Feb. 17 All-Star Game in Houston. He then would join LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in making Miami the first team in 23 years to have three All-Star starters. "Yeah, I think so," Bosh told FOX Sports Florida after Wednesday's 99-94 win over Charlotte about his belief that Spoelstra, the Eastern Conference All-Star coach, will name him to replace injured Boston point guard Rajon Rondo in the lineup. FOXSports Florida

While James led in balloting for frontcourt players and Wade was tops for guards, Bosh finished fourth in the frontcourt, with only the top three earning immediate starting berths. "Hell, yeah, it should count," Bosh said if Miami has three starters. "No asterisk. No asterisk." Bosh displays the same enthusiasm when asked if he wants to start in Houston, the site of his All-Star debut in 2006. That began Bosh's streak of eight straight All-Star selections, but 2007 so far has marked his only start. "Hell, yeah," Bosh said of wanting to start. "Whether I do start or I don't start, people will always have opinions. But it's all for fun. Have some fun and go out there and have a good time." FOXSports Florida

The Sacramento Kings center was ejected at halftime Monday night during a 98-91 overtime loss to the Utah Jazz. He approached referee Tre Maddox and proceeded to get in his ear about something, then was ejected by referee Scott Foster after apparently crossing some sort of line. The ejection came because it was Cousins' second technical foul of the game, his first coming with 2 minutes, 23 seconds to go before the half. "Cousins said he told the ref not to act like a 'bleeping female' to get his second tech," Sacramento Bee beat reporter Jason Jones tweeted, later clarifying the tweet was the censored, family-friendly version. "I shouldn't have said that," Cousins said of the curse word. "That's about it." USA Today Sports

This blowup was particularly inexplicable. Both teams had retreated to their locker rooms, but Cousins felt the need to say something. Maddox seemed to ignore him, though he made the decision to walk over to the other referees. "I think there was conversation on both sides and the referee got to the point where he didn't want to hear any more," Kings coach Keith Smart said. "The part where it is halftime and you're walking toward them, you will probably always get in trouble doing that." USA Today Sports

Mike Woodson expects Rasheed Wallace to start practicing after the All-Star break. Wallace, 38, has been out since Dec. 15 with a stress reaction in his left foot. The team has listed him as day to day. ESPN.com

Woodson also hopes that Marcus Camby, out since Jan. 10 with a left plantar fascia injury, returns to practice after the break. But he is less certain about Camby than he is Wallace. "I don't know about Camby," Woodson said before Monday's game against Detroit. "They'll continue to do their therapy work through the break. I'm hoping to have one of them back. Hopefully Rasheed will be back on the floor." Woodson isn't sure if Wallace will ever be 100 percent healthy this season. ESPN.com

No practical hit to Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson missing a self-imposed timeline to unveil majority owner(s)... as part of the counter-strike to keep the Kings. But it does look bad in a very delicate situation where perception counts. Johnson knows this is a PR process too. He had one press conference that was more pep rally to release the names of minority investors totalling $20 million, a sliver in a deal that will require many hundreds of millions of dollars. He followed that with what amounted to an announcement that he had nothing to announce. Sulia

Seattle does have to deal with the unknown of the legal tangles, but that might only delay the inevitable if the courts rule in favor of the sale to the group led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer. Sacramento interests could force the uncertainty late enough into the summer that the NBA would have to keep the team in Northern California one more campaign, only to have Hansen-Ballmer win and 2013-14 as the official lame-duck season in town. The Board of Governors meets April 18-19, so Johnson still has time. But he needs something more than a good sales pitch at All-Star weekend the end of next week, and he certainly needs to stop missing timelines that didn't need to be set in the first place. Perception. Sulia

It’s all about boys, really. Chicago’s gangs primarily are made up of young males. According to USA Today, of the 62 mass killings in the last 30 years, all but one was committed by a male. The gangs and violence fill in for absentee fathers, broken homes, lost moral compasses. Duncan and Bulls stars Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah stay in close contact, with all of them recognizing the anarchy overtaking the city. ‘‘Derrick and Joakim are two young men I have extreme respect for beyond their court skills,’’ Duncan said. ‘‘They both have stepped up and asked to do more.’’ Chicago Sun-Times

That includes summer programs, youth games, even ads that might tell young Chicagoans that shooting isn’t good, that not snitching leads nowhere. ‘‘Oh, man, Arne is cool,’’ the still-injured Rose said at a recent Bulls game. ‘‘I’ll do anything for him.’’ Noah was just as impassioned. ‘‘You play for the Bulls, you represent more than just an NBA player,’’ he said. ‘‘You represent Chicago. I’m a role model, and I love that. But we need to combine forces with players, the community leaders, politicians. We need to try to stop this. Arne? No question, I’m with him.’’ Chicago Sun-Times

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