HoopsHype rumors

February 6, 2013 | 08:25 PM ET Update

The San Antonio Spurs have the best record in the NBA and the Charlotte Bobcats have the worst. But they have something in common. Mike Conley, the agent for often-injured free-agent center Greg Oden, said Wednesday they’re both teams that interest his client. “I definitely can see both of those teams (as possibilities),’’ Conley said in a telephone interview with FOX Sports Florida. “San Antonio has an aging front line with Duncan, and with Duncan and the Admiral (retired David Robinson, who still lives in San Antonio), he would have some great mentors. “And Charlotte, they are rebuilding. They would be in a better position (than many teams) to take more of a risk.’’ FOXSports Florida

Conley said the chances are becoming less that Oden will sign with a team before the end of this season simply for rehabilitation purposes. If not, Oden, who definitely won’t play this season, will choose a team in the summer. “A few weeks ago, I’d probably have said it was 80 percent,’’ Conley said of Oden signing with a team this season. “Now, I’d say it’s 50-50.’’ FOXSports Florida

Gasol had an MRI in Boston on Wednesday. The test will be sent to team doctors in Los Angeles for analysis and Gasol will fly to Los Angeles Thursday, where he will be examined by team doctor Steve Lombardo and foot specialist Dr. Kenneth Jung. A further update including a time estimate for Gasol's return will be issued at the conclusion of the examination. "I'm hoping to recover asap so I can be back with the team and keep fighting until the end of the season," Gasol tweeted. USA Today Sports

NBA Commissioner David Stern says the group that has reached agreement to purchase the Sacramento Kings has formally filed to relocate the franchise to Seattle. Stern spoke on Wednesday night in Minneapolis before the Timberwolves hosted San Antonio. He called the Seattle group, led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer, "very strong," and that the appropriate committees have been convened to look over the proposed sale of the Kings and the prospective move to Seattle. The deadline for teams to file for relocation is March 1 USA Today Sports

February 6, 2013 | 06:38 PM ET Update

Chris Broussard: Lakers say Pau has torn plantar fascia in right foot. Source says likely to be out 4 weeks. Make that source says Pau out "at least 4 weeks." Twitter @Chris_Broussard

February 6, 2013 | 05:59 PM ET Update

Are Griz done dealing? Chad Ford: Seriously doubt it. Zach Randolph looks like a marked man. CBSSports.com

The Nets wished a happy birthday (28) to Kris Humphries Wednesday. Will they be bidding him farewell next? The hints that the Nets are willing to move him have been cropping up in the last few days, the most recent (and most telling) from Fred Kerber, who in a post-game story about Mirza Teletovic, wrote, "Nothing is imminent but the Nets are confident they could move one of their bigs, namely Kris Humphries (and his $12 million due next season), to help clear the logjam at the four spot if necessary." Depends on what you mean by "imminent." The trade deadline is two weeks from 3 p.m. ET, Thursday. NetsDaily

Although New Orleans Hornets forward Jason Smith missed seven games with a torn labrum in his right shoulder in December, he continues to play through pain and could require surgery after this season. Smith said his sore shoulder is something he’s dealing with as best he can and some days are better than others. Smith initially injured his shoulder during a Dec. 12 game against the Oklahoma City Thunder when he blocked an attempted dunk by forward Kevin Durant. New Orleans Times-Picayune

Commissioner David Stern said Wednesday that he expects the NBA will follow Major League Baseball’s lead by adopting blood testing for Human Growth Hormone (HGH). “We watch what’s going on in baseball, we watch the negotiations that are going in with football, and it is my expectation that by next season [we] will be doing blood testing for HGH,” Stern told WCCO radio in Minnesota. “Our players have been terrific. they lead this in some ways, saying, ‘ We do not want to have anything less than the best.’ That’s been the way it’s been since 1983.” SI.com

Stern said Wednesday that testing hadn’t been implemented to this point because “there hasn’t been a favored testing protocol yet” and stated that he didn’t believe the NBA has a serious problem with HGH, which is on the league’s list of banned substances. “If I say I don’t have a concern, everyone says I’m a Pollyanna,” Stern said. “I don’t have any reason to know one way or another. My guess is and my hope is that it’s not widely used in the NBA.” SI.com

A few weeks leader, another D.C. team leader passed out another round of gifts to another group of teammates. During a road trip to Portland, everyone on the Wizards got a Samsung Galaxy II Note, personalized with the team logo and uniform numbers. During a trip to L.A., they all got Beats By Dre headphones, and the Beats Pill, a Bluetooth speaker audio system. Both giveaways were John Wall productions. “I feel like more opportunities do come my way, and I feel like instead of me just getting it, why can’t I see if my team, or some of my friends can get it?” Wall said Wednesday morning. “It finally worked out that both of those partners, Samsung and Beats, wanted to collaborate with my team, and we made it work.” Washington Post

February 6, 2013 | 03:08 PM ET Update

Bob Saget (San Francisco) I cant believe the one team people thought would be active (Utah Jazz) and we havent heard a peep.... Chad Ford (1:14 PM) Then you don't know the Jazz. If a deal happens, even most of the staff in Utah will be shocked to hear it. Most "close to the vest' team in the league. ESPN.com

Clark Cahoon (SLC) Whats your take on Mitch saying they won't trade Dwight? Is that a direct indication Gasol is gone? In the past few games they seem to have "figured it out" but how do you see those two players together in the future? Also, who would be a viable fit if things got weird and there was a trade? Chad Ford (1:13 PM): Other teams are privately getting the same message from the Lakers so I believe it's legit. The Lakers appear confident they will re-sign him. Maybe they will, but it's a big gamble. Howard has proven that he's unpredictable and that winning isn't the only consideration. I think the Hawks and Nets are the only teams with the ability to re-sign Dwight AND the assets to get a viable trade done that would actually help the Lakers. ESPN.com

Rudy Gay joined Tim and Sid on The Fan 590 in Toronto to discuss the trade that brought him to the Raptors last week, his fit with his new team, the factors attached to the trade, whether he expected this to happen, his remorse for Grizzlies fans, his relationship with current Raptor Kyle Lowry, and his expectations for his time in Toronto. On his initial reaction to being traded to Toronto: “I was excited for a new start. I’ve known a lot of these guys here and I’ve been a fan of DeMar’s for a long time. I like the fact that he’s gotten better and better every year. So it was cool. It was a new start for me.” On his fit in Toronto: “I feel it can be a great fit and it has been so far. But I still have a lot of work to do and obviously this team does, too.” Sports Radio Interviews

Amar’e Stoudemire joined WFAN in New York with Boomer and Carton to talk about the difference for him now, if he was uncomfortable early in the season, whether he is okay with getting limited minutes moving forward, on Knicks coach Mike Woodson always being demanding of all his players, no matter who they are, if he thinks New York relies too much on the three pointer and if he is now 100 percent comfortable playing with Carmelo Anthony. On the difference for him now: “Right now it’s all about persevering man. I’ve been persevering my whole career. Right now, developing a low post game has been very important for me.” If he was uncomfortable early in his return: “No, not at all. I felt great physically, I felt comfortable. The game was a little fast the first three games but I wasn’t forcing the issue. You weren’t seeing incredible stats in the first few games of being out there because I wasn’t trying to force the issue.” If he is okay with limited minutes going forward: “Yeah, I’m fine with it. Whatever it takes to win. I’m not sure if I should keep saying it or not but whatever it takes to win I am totally open to it.” Sports Radio Interviews

John Wall joined 106.7 The Fan in Washington D.C. with Holden and Danny to discuss why this team is so much better with him on the floor, not being picked as one of the league’s best players under 25, watching the Wizards’ rough start to the season from the bench, how he’s feeling now, his next step in becoming one of the league’s top point guards and what the team has to play for at this point. The team has been a lot better since your return. Why?: “I think it’s just me trying to be a leader for our team and push the pace and just get easier shots for guys and just help guys’ games out. … We just need guys to make shots and we’ve got a lot of 3-point shooters and we’re just … trusting each other.” Sports Illustrated put out its list of best players under 25 and you weren’t on it. Is that a kind of thing that motivates you?: “I noticed it. Everybody tells me about it, but it just motivates me. I know. And like I said, people talk about it … but it’s not a big deal to me. I’m not worried about it. It’s just a list.” Sports Radio Interviews

The “what ifs” will never be resolved in Washington but the memories remain. When asked what he misses most about his days playing at the Capital Centre in Landover, Wallace said: “Just the enthusiasm of the crowd. The crowd felt the same things that we did. That it was a helluva team and we could’ve did some things. …I think we would’ve went far in the playoffs, because we were big. Unfortunately, I started those games that I did because Web went down. I hate to move into his starting slot like that. But man, we could’ve did a lot of things.” Washington Post

Dwight Howard on how bad his back is after surgery: “Well for people who have had back surgery they will see it more than a person who never has had back surgery. For me, even sitting down in this chair right now is causing my legs to go numb and having this tingly sensation all the way down my legs. That happens when I’m playing and that happens when I’m just sitting on the bench for a couple of minutes. It’s not easy. There are times when I can’t feel my legs when I’m out there playing. I try to play through it so it’s not just like a situation where everything is back to 100 percent. That stuff takes time. When I got injured my nerves in my legs were short-circuited so basically because of my disk being on my nerves, basically shut everything down from my back all the way down to my toes. That takes time to heal. It usually takes a year and some people take longer. Most of it has healed up in less than three months That’s why I was able to come back and play as fast as I was, but I’m still not ready to play yet.” Sports Radio Interviews

When Milwaukee Bucks big man Larry Sanders took a nasty spill against Denver on Tuesday night and hurt his back, there were immediate concerns from within the organization that the injury was serious. Yet according to a person with knowledge of the situation, fears that the third-year defensive specialist had fractured his back have been allayed and the injury is considered relatively minor. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because the team had not yet updated his status publicly. It's unclear if the league leader in blocks (3.2 per game) will play tonight at Utah, but the Bucks are breathing a sigh of relief that it's even a possibility. USA Today Sports

February 6, 2013 | 01:32 PM ET Update

Chris Broussard: We know Rockets will go after D12 n summer but word is they'll pursue A Bynum if D12 unavailable. assuming AB plays well n return this yr. Twitter @Chris_Broussard

But here's the thing: White is not just a dunker; he's arguably the best dunker on the planet. You may have never heard of the 30-year-old because he averages 1.8 points per game for the Knicks, in his third season in the league since 2006. During the other years, he played mostly overseas in Russia and Italy. "A lot of people haven't seen James," his Knicks teammate Carmelo Anthony said. "He's the best-kept secret." ESPN.com

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich confirmed after shootaround this morning at the Target Center that his team will open its 11th rodeo road trip without All-Star forward Tim Duncan and key sixth man Manu Ginobili. Both have been ruled out of tonight’s game in Minnesota with leg injuries and are considered day-to-day as the trip proceeds from here. Duncan, 36, suffered a sore left knee and mildly sprained right ankle in Saturday’s win over Washington, when Wizards forward Martell Webster rolled into the back of his legs. Ginobili, a 34-year-old guard, is dealing with tightness in his left hamstring, which he initially strained in a Jan. 13 victory over the Timberwolves. San Antonio Express-News

Thaddeus Young was told he could expect to miss about three weeks with a hamstring injury, yet the sixth-year 76ers forward was trying to look on the bright side. An MRI exam on Tuesday revealed a Grade 1 left hamstring strain that occurred in the second quarter of Monday's 78-61 win over the visiting Orlando Magic. "Considering how it felt and me feeling like a rubber band popping, you think it's much worse than it is," Young said Tuesday after the Sixers finished practice. "You just thank God it wasn't a season-ending injury or that I could have been out two months." Philadelphia Inquirer

Green was diagnosed with an aortic root aneurysm in December 2011, six and a half years after Turiaf was discovered to have a similar condition. The Clippers’ benevolent big man heard about Green and said he knew “every single moment” that he would go through. “When I heard about it, that it he was going to be out for a while and that he had to undergo open heart surgery I just reached out to him,” Turiaf said. “You always need someone to be able to talk to you and tell what to expect. “It’s big fraternity, the open heart surgery survivors. But we try to stick with each other because it’s a tough process.” NBA.com

The National Basketball Association (NBA), Sean John, and Macy’s today announced a new multiyear agreement that features a presenting partnership of the Entertainment Series at NBA All-Star and includes upcoming NBA-themed events at Macy’s nationwide that will highlight signature styles from Sean John. At NBA All-Star, the “Entertainment Series presented by Sean John at Macy’s” will showcase musical performances during State Farm All-Star Saturday Night and during pregame introductions and halftime at the 2013 NBA All-Star Game. VIBE

February 6, 2013 | 10:59 AM ET Update

For a playoff push to be even a remote possibility for the Mavs, they must protect their house leading into the All-Star break. Tonight’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers begins a five-game homestand, with four of those games coming before the break. “It’s pretty much a must week for us,” O.J. Mayo said. The Mavs, who were the best road team in the NBA in the recent past, have been an awful 8-19 away from the American Airlines Center this season. Making matters worse, the Mavs have played the most road games in the West so far. ESPN.com

Early in the season, some touted him as a possible Sixth Man of the Year. But now, after 27 consecutive starts, Splitter has emerged as a candidate for Most Improved. In a quiet corner of the gym, I ask Splitter how that has happened. “I think it’s a little bit of everything,” Splitter says softly. “Understanding the system better. Being here with Pop longer. Having more confidence with him. Getting more minutes and experience on the court.” NBA.com

The difference between this season and the last two? Splitter uses an illustration to explain. After arriving from Europe, Splitter felt like an occupant in a stranger’s house. A little tight. Seldom relaxed. After two seasons adjusting, Splitter feels like he’s back in Spain. In familiar surroundings. Comfortable. “Like when you are in your own house,” he says. In Splitter’s house, there is a new addition. His name is Benjamin, he is 7-months-old and he attends all of daddy’s games with his mother, Amaia, Tiago’s wife. “It’s been a great experience,” Splitter says, “maybe the best thing that’s happened in my life.” If dad is feeling more settled at home with Amaia and Benjamin, it certainly isn’t hurting him on the court. The Spurs, though bruised and banged up, remain one of the league’s elite teams. Splitter’s emergence is one reason why. “It’s been my best season in the NBA,” he says. “I know I’m not an All-Star kind of player right now. I just want to keep winning and help this team win a ring.” NBA.com

February 6, 2013 | 09:37 AM ET Update

Through his representatives, Garnett has let it be known he has no current interest in the Nuggets. Don't be surprised, however, if Garnett is gone from Boston before the league's Feb. 21 trade deadline. And that's why the Nuggets must continue to monitor the situation. Denver Post

Sources have told ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramona Shelburne that the Lakers are "very confident" Howard will remain with the team this summer. Howard has steadfastly refused to reveal his plans for this summer, and sources say he truly does not know what he will do. The sources add that he definitely will not ask to be traded. ESPN.com

Atlanta, Dallas and Houston will be Howard's chief suitors when he enters free agency July 1. But the Lakers can offer Howard a five-year contract worth roughly $118 million while every other team in the league can offer him only about $88 million over four years. The extra $30 million means a lot to Howard, sources said, and is definitely a major advantage for the Lakers. With the injuries he's recently suffered to his back and shoulder, Howard might be less inclined to give up the extra year of security. ESPN.com

Peter Vecsey: Spoke 2 guy unaffiliated w Raptors but has inside knowledge of management mindset. Says definitely trying 2 deal Bargnani. ? is, can they? Twitter @PeterVecsey1

Really don't think the Pistons are interested in moving Calderon at all. They have indicated pretty openly they want to keep him. Also showed their hand by tossing him in the starting line-up without even a practice. You wouldn't do that with a two-month rental. Detroit Free Press

That depends on how the next few months play out. They have been pretty public about their intentions there. Calderon said it's key if a team really wants him. Think the Pistons have shown that so far. Detroit Free Press

Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni believes the punishments stem more from World Peace's reputation. World Peace has a well-documented behavior history, most notably drawing an 86-game suspension after he - then known as Ron Artest - rushed into the stands after a fan threw a drink at him in an infamous brawl eight years ago in Auburn Hills, Mich. World Peace also drew a seven-game suspension last season after throwing an elbow at former Oklahoma City guard James Harden. "I'm sure that goes into it," D'Antoni said. "They look at the play and look who did it with past experiences." Los Angeles Daily News

The Rockets settled for tying an NBA record and set a franchise mark with 23 three-pointers in a 140-109 win against the Warriors. Houston matched the single-game record for threes set by the Orlando Magic vs. the Sacramento Kings on Jan. 13, 2009. The Toyota Center crowd realized the outright record was within reach in the final three minutes, chanting "One more three!" But the Warriors took away Houston's chances of getting it by fouling at the end. "We're not going to lay down," Jackson said. "If you're going to try to get the record, we're going to stop it." USA Today Sports

There have long been calls for Rivers to give speedy guard Leandro Barbosa more playing time. With Rondo out, Barbosa’s minutes have increased, and so has his production. The “Brazilian Blur” is averaging about 11 points per game in his last four, all of them Boston wins. “He’s been great,” Rivers said. “He’s been a guy all year that, ‘Should you go with him? Shouldn’t you go with him?’ And obviously we should have. “He’s just playing so well. He’s wild at times. I think he scares me and the opposing coach all at the same time. That’s actually not bad to have.” Boston Globe

Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo only praised one of his players following the Nets' 92-83 loss to the Lakers on Tuesday. And it wasn't Brook Lopez, who finished with a game-high 30 points and 11 rebounds. No, the kind words were for Gerald Wallace. "If you had said to me before the game, 'Kobe’s gonna go 9-for-24 with four assists, I would have taken it, no questions asked," Carlesimo said. "Don’t get me wrong, I’m not taking anything away from Kobe, but I thought the job Gerald did on Kobe was exceptional. All you can do is make a player that good work, and he did that." ESPN.com

"We showed signs of just not being together," said Tony Allen, which is true, if he meant massive, billboard-sized signs emblazoned in neon lights. Memphis Commercial Appeal

Explaining the loss, Hollins twice pointed out that when Gasol got in foul trouble, he couldn't put in another big to match up with Luis Scola and Marcin Gortat. "One of the issues that I have is that neither Darrell or Ed (Davis) are fives. We don't have another big guy. We weren't able to play big and have two bigger people across the board because we don't have a bigger guy to put in the game." Memphis Commercial Appeal

In other words, Hollins no longer had Mo Speights or Hamed Haddadi because they were traded away. Did Hollins mean it as a shot? It almost doesn't matter, honestly. When the head coach spends part of his press conference lamenting what he no longer has on his roster, that's not a good sign. Memphis Commercial Appeal

“I went up to contest the shot and I think that he purposely threw an elbow at me knowing that I was coming,” Horford said. “He hit me in the groin area. It was very painful. He hit me and it as a natural instinct as I was going for the block to put me hands down and I guess I hit him in the head. It was a very dirty play by him. I’m obviously upset about the call. I understand that they are at home. The crowd is against the refs and they have peer pressure on them so they couldn’t let it slide. I am hoping that the NBA looks at the play and realizes that it was not an intentional hit and I should not have had a flagrant foul.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Perkins, the Oklahoma City center and former Celtic, said Tuesday that he has spoken with Rondo and is helping him through a difficult period after the Boston point guard tore his right ACL Jan. 24 against the Atlanta Hawks. Perkins tore his left ACL while being pulled down by the Lakers' Andrew Bynum as they chased a rebound during Game 6 of the 2010 NBA Finals. On Jan. 25, 2011, Perkins returned to action, seven months and 10 days after his injury. "When you hear stuff like that, especially with a close friend, it's always disturbing," said Perkins. "So I just wanted to call and make sure that he was all right as far as mentally and just getting ready. Because it takes a focus to go through that process of surgery and the recovery of it. Boston Globe

Rondo was selected as an All-Star starter but told Perkins he won't be attending All-Star Weekend. "So I'm going to go down there [to Rondo's home in Kentucky] for a day or two and just go hang out with him," said Perkins. "Because he probably might have the surgery before then. So just go down there and give him a little comfort. "We talk every day, so it wasn't nothing unusual. But when I heard about it, we played that night and then I called him right after the game." Boston Globe

Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol left Tuesday's win over the Brooklyn Nets after straining the plantar fascia in his right foot late in the fourth quarter. Gasol, who left Barclays Center on crutches, admitted he is "worried" about the injury. The four-time All-Star is scheduled to undergo an MRI on the foot Wednesday after the Lakers travel to Boston. "I tweaked my fascia in the first half, so I was dealing with quite a bit of soreness in the second half," said Gasol, who left the game with 3:50 remaining. "So I couldn't do certain things. "I was dealing with it, but that play when I tried to jump off of it and try go block the shot (by Brooklyn's Brook Lopez), just as I took off, I felt a pop in the bottom of my foot on my fascia and I couldn't get up. I'm worried about it." ESPN.com

Kobe was asked about Dwight's toughness, or lack thereof, and said it was more of an experience issue ... First, Bryant was asked if he thought Dwight would feel pressured to come back sooner now that Pau Gasol is hurt. "Maybe," Bryant said. "I think with him, he’s probably worried about the damage in his shoulder. I don’t think he’s ever really had to really play through injuries. His entire career he’s been relatively healthy, so, I think it’s a new experience for him." Sulia

Bill Hanzlik, who played for the Nuggets from 1982-90, puts his old coach in a category all his own. Hanzlik became a pet target of Moe's motivational skills that at times were heard throughout McNichols Sports Arena from the end of the Nuggets bench. Moe could be unconventional in his game strategy too. On one occasion against the Los Angeles Lakers, Moe had the 6-foot-7 Hanzlik guarding 7-4 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. "Doug wasn't from a different part of the universe; he was from a different galaxy that no one else has touched," Hanzlik said. "He played the game with simplicity, but he could motivate the heck out of his players." Denver Post

Moe was a genius with numbers and it helped him as a coach. He could be given two lines of five digits each verbally and multiply the two lines in his head. When he got his break to coach the Nuggets, it came at the expense of Walsh. The ties weren't set aside easily. "Donnie was a friend of mine," Moe said. "We had talked about the possibility of something happening so it wasn't a shock. It was hard." Denver Post

Moe is home in San Antonio and talking about how tough it is not to work. He and "Big Jane," his wife, are embarking on a cruise this month. Then he'll find time to come to Denver for a few days and watch the Nuggets. He can't remember how or why he started calling people "stiffs." It's his trademark. "I call everybody a stiff," Moe said. "I'm one, too." Denver Post

In the other corner, former NBA All-Star and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is moving comfortably toward an announcement of his equity partners, which will come at some time this week. Sources close to the situation have said that these owners will more than meet NBA criteria and be able to compete with or beat Seattle’s offer. Additionally, these owners will come to the table willing to pay their portion in an arena deal that was previously approved by the NBA, and sources say will be approved by the Sacramento City Council, as well. NBCSports.com

NBC ProBasketballTalk has acquired a copy of the Kings’ 1992 ownership agreement and an addendum to the original agreement from May of 2003. While a 1991 version of this document has also made media rounds over the last two weeks, we have verified through sources that the 1992 copy is the definitive agreement governing ownership rights and obligations of the Kings franchise and that the 2003 addendum specifically clarified any confusion regarding the Right of First Refusal, amongst other pending issues. NBCSports.com

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson still wasn't ready Tuesday to reveal the identities of the deep-pocketed investors he's recruited to make a pitch to buy the Kings. But despite going past his self-imposed time frame for that announcement, Johnson said he remained confident he would deliver a competitive bid to keep the team here. Johnson told reporters the investors are "doing their due diligence and working very hard" to come to terms on a bid for the Kings. Besides an offer to buy the Kings, that plan is also expected to include a proposal to build a downtown sports arena. Sacramento Bee

In an attempt to restore its credibility and fortify itself against the owners in future labor negotiations, the search for the next executive director of the National Basketball Players Association will include one of the United States government's top law officials, sources told Yahoo! Sports. As the NBPA prepares for the possibility of the league's players voting the union's current executive director, Billy Hunter, out of office, B. Todd Jones, the acting director of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, will be a target should a change be made, sources said. Yahoo! Sports

Creating a healthier, more functional N.B.A. players union will require deeper involvement from its members, but especially from its most famous members, according to perhaps the most famous member of all. Kobe Bryant, acknowledging that the union “looks like a mess,” said it was time for the N.B.A.’s stars to take a stronger role as players deliberate the fate of Billy Hunter, the embattled executive director, and the direction of the union. Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers star, included himself in that mandate and said it was an issue he had been discussing with Chris Paul, the Los Angeles Clippers guard, since the 2011 lockout. “We might want to grab the bull by its horns, so to speak, and lead the charge a little bit,” Bryant said Tuesday morning. New York Times

The hard contact from Dunleavy came before Gallinari entered the restricted area, so he flipped up a hook shot over his right shoulder as he came crashing back to the court. The foul was never in doubt but the shot surely was, as it kissed high off the backboard, rolled all the way around the rim, hit off the backboard again, and then finally spun in off the rim. The Nuggets television broadcasters predictably lost their marbles, dubbing Gallinari’s miracle the “shot of the century” and the “shot of the year.” By hitting the basket, Gallinari also pushed the Nuggets to 110 points, triggering a promotion in which fans can purchase four tacos for $1 dollar at Taco Bell on Wednesday. “They loved it for the tacos, I think,” Gallinari said of his shot, during a televised postgame interview. “It was a good shot, an important shot.” SI.com

Alicia Keys, who wowed a Super Bowl crowd on Sunday with the national anthem, will be the halftime entertainer at the NBA All-Star Game Feb. 17 at Toyota Center. Nine-time Grammy winner John Legend will perform the national anthem. Keys and Legend will be joined at the All-Star Game by singer/songwriter Ne-Yo, who will perform during the All-Star introductions, and Gloria Reuben, who will sing the Canadian national anthem. The game will be televised live at 7 p.m. on TNT. Houston Chronicle

Allen Iverson is officially mansionless -- TMZ has learned the former NBA star's Atlanta home has been sold off in a foreclosure auction. TMZ broke the story ... Iverson allegedly defaulted on a $1.2 million mortgage which sent the $4.5 million home into foreclosure. He briefly fought off an auction ... but ultimately, he couldn't stop it. TMZ.com

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