HoopsHype rumors

February 8, 2013 | 08:21 PM ET Update

Andre Drummond, the Detroit Pistons' explosive rookie center, could miss four to six weeks with a stress fracture in his back, a league source told Yahoo! Sports on Friday. Drummond, 19, hurt his back attempting to block a shot in Sunday's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. "He will be fine," a league source said on Friday. "He needs rest." Yahoo! Sports

Drummond suffered the injury during the Pistons loss to the Lakers on Feb. 3. Drummond attempted to play in games on Monday and Wednesday, but left both games early due to pain. The injury does not require surgery and will get better with rest. “He’ll heal,” Pistons team physican Ben Paolucci said. “He should have no residual, in other words, he’s not going to have anything lasting.” The Oakland Press

The MRI also discovered another possible injury, but Paolucci said it was minor. “It looks like he may have had a minor injury on the other side, on the same disc,” Paolucci said. “It doesn’t change the treatment, doesn’t change ... his recovery.” The Oakland Press

The Charlotte Bobcats and Brooklyn Nets have had discussions about a possible trade of shooting guard Ben Gordon for power forward Kris Humphries, two NBA sources confirmed. The possible deal, first reported by espn.com, does not appear to be imminent. It would address the Bobcats’ size and rebounding problems while giving up perimeter scoring, where the Bobcats are relatively strong. Charlotte Observer

Houston Rockets rookie forward Royce White, who has yet to play for the team this season, told FOX 26 Sports he passed his physical after meeting Friday with team physician Dr. Jim Muntz. White said he will travel to McAllen on Sunday and report on Monday to the Rockets NBA Development League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. "I always like to get in there with Dr. Muntz and get a physical done and just see how I'm doing as far as my heart and things like," White said. "It takes me back to that reassurance I got after I first started having panic attacks, that I'm healthy and okay. "They said I'm good. I'm usually one of the healthiest guys every time I go in to get a physical, blood pressure is all good and things like that. So I'm happy with that." FOX 26 Sports

As far as traveling with the Vipers, White said it will be no different than if he was in the NBA. "Just the same way I would've in the league this year," White said. "Travel by bus when it's possible and when I have to fly, I'll fly. We'll see how it goes." White looks forward to rejoining the Rockets. "There's no timeline," White said. "Just from what I hear they've said that they want to make it really short, but who knows. It just depends on how I play I guess and where my conditioning is at. I've been out for two and a half months. It's going to be a process. FOX 26 Sports

Being able to complete an agreement with the Rockets that will enable White to continue his basketball career in the Houston organization means everything to him. "It's monumental when you look at it, and for me I know everything that I've actually been through, a lot of things that people don't know about, and I always find a way to come through and I always find a way to get through the adversity and get to a point where I can keep trying to move forward and progress and this is one of those moments and I won't let anything keep me down or hold me back. FOX 26 Sports

The Lakers are expected to play October exhibition games in Beijing and Shanghai before next season as part of the NBA's annual China Games series, although the NBA has not announced its plans yet. Bryant, who has an epic fan following in Asia, has said he might retire when his contract expires at the end of next season. Dwight Howard, who could re-sign with the Lakers this offseason, did a promotional tour for Adidas in China last summer also. Orange County Register

Carmelo Anthony was harassed by a man as the Knicks' All-Star forward got off the team bus Friday and walked toward the Target City locker room before the game. The incident was witnessed by reporters. The man, who was already in the building and apparently got past arena security, uttered obscenities and said, "KG" several times to Anthony. KG is former T-Wolves star Kevin Garnett, who Anthony had a run in with last month at the Garden. Newsday

February 8, 2013 | 06:53 PM ET Update

Smith, according to a source, is prepared to move on. He has been one of the most enigmatic players in the Hawks' history, capable of incredible feats at both ends of the floor—as evidenced by his 23-point, 16-rebound performance against the Bulls in the 2011 playoffs—but also capable of driving coaches and fans crazy with his decision-making. Last month he was suspended by the team for a game for "conduct detrimental to the team," after a run-in at practice with coach Larry Drew. NBA.com

The Grizzlies say they will not trade Zach Randolph this season. The team has fielded calls proposing trades for its all-star, but Griz CEO Jason Levien said he told Randolph on Thursday that he won't be dealt this season. NBA teams have been told the Grizzlies aren't looking to move the 31-year-old forward, who averages 15.7 points and 11.7 rebounds. Memphis Commercial Appeal

When New Orleans Hornets guard Roger Mason Jr. first got into the music business in 2009 and started scheduling meetings to sign his first act, urban pop singer Segarra, he didn't want anyone to know he was an NBA player. He took his passion sincerely and was afraid music executives would take him lightly and not give him a fair deal. "There have been so many times that athletes aren't taken seriously," said Mason, who was a classically trained pianist at 7 years old. ESPN.com

Based on what you have learned and are currently doing, have there been any instances where athletes have come to you for music advice? As we both know, a lot of them want to get into the industry. For a long time, to be honest with you, I didn't want to let anybody know that I was doing it. First of all, even when I went and got my deal with Segarra with Universal, we took meetings with six labels. We went and saw everybody, and not once did they even know that I played basketball. And that was really important for me because I didn't want them to judge the music in a negative way. There have been so many times that athletes aren't taken seriously. So with me, honestly, I didn't tell anybody that I was even doing it. I didn't want anybody to take the project any less serious. ESPN.com

Is the NBA involved to help you push your music platform forward? I did mention to Mr. [David] Stern that I got that deal with Universal, and he was proud. But right now, I still keep it secret because the biggest thing with me is what I do on the court. The one thing that I have talked to the players' association about is working with Clive Davis and NYU and doing a program for the guys. I've been working on it for the last year and a half. It's a program with NYU and the Clive Davis [Institute of Recorded Music], where [a player can] get a mentor and they're able to actually find out about the business of music. And it's really cool. It's something I've brought to the union since there are so many guys that are interested in music and doing stuff. They would actually get real, solid information on the business, how it works and what the publishing means and all the little nuances that a lot of guys don't know. I've been working with Mr. Davis and his team to try to put something together for the players' association. ESPN.com

It sounds like a great life-building opportunity for the players to learn much more about one of their favorite interests. Right, and that's what the players' association is all about. For example, they have a program at Syracuse University on broadcasting. They've been doing that for about the last six, seven years. I think they have an 80 percent rate of the guys that do the broadcasting, and then those guys go on to work. Shaq did it going to work at ESPN, and now he's at TNT. They've got a coaching program that they do, and that coaching program is the [NBPA] Top 100 [High School Basketball] Camp. A lot of guys have gone to become coaches from that program. They have a GM program. The players' association has many programs for guys that do things that they might want to do when they're not playing ball. ESPN.com

February 8, 2013 | 06:00 PM ET Update

Smith, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution late last month that he believes he's a max player, which would mean he'd be in line for a five-year deal worth around $94 million from Atlanta. But the Hawks, which expect to be major players next summer in free agency or through trades, do not want to tie up that kind of money going forward. NBA.com

Seven months after he tried to force his way to Phoenix and made it widely known that he was upset with how the Hornets handled his free agency, Gordon isn't about to declare his long-term love for New Orleans because, well, he has been hurt before. He will focus on the immediate future of helping with his young team's evolution, he says, trying to get from "80%" health, as he deems himself, to 100% while shoring up the conditioning that continues to limit his effectiveness. Anything after that, as he has learned the hard way, is hard to predict. "You never know what could happen," Gordon told USA TODAY Sports by phone when asked if he now sees New Orleans as the long-term spot for him. "The main thing right now is to really focus on this team. After thinking about my injuries and everything, everything is year by year with me. I have to focus on this year. I don't know what's going to happen. You never know what's going to happen." USA Today Sports

This much seems clear about Gordon from the evidence gleaned at the moment: With the Feb. 21 trade deadline looming, all signs point to him staying with the Hornets at least through this season. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, Gordon has told team officials he is content and no trade demands have been levied by him or his camp. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the talks. Per the rules of the league's collective bargaining agreement, Gordon has been eligible to be traded since Dec. 15. USA Today Sports

One rival executive said that although New Orleans is not actively shopping Gordon, the team has shown a willingness to engage in talks about him, and it's known agent Rob Pelinka is more than open to the idea of a trade for his client. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because the talks were supposed to remain confidential. Gordon would have to approve the deal, and no such discussions about where he might want to go have taken place between him and the team. Still, the situation remains fluid. USA Today Sports

"When I came back, and since we've been playing and winning games, there's definitely a change (in how the fans are treating him)," Gordon said. "I remember from this past summer to about a month or so ago, where I'd hear fans saying, 'Do you really want to be here? I don't think you want to be here.' "But at the end of the day, you have to understand the NBA is nothing but a business. I've seen guys in the past few years coming and going here – a lot of good guys. Chris Paul, David West. You've had a lot of prominent players come through here and now they're somewhere else. You never know what could happen here." In other words, some residue from the summer remains. USA Today Sports

"At the end of the day it was all about what's the best situation for me," Gordon said. "I knew the Hornets were going to go through a rebuild, and Phoenix was also going through somewhat of a rebuild, but they were going to have more older guys. I just focused on what I felt was going to be best for me and it was very mind boggling when the Hornets were talking about having me very, very long-term and then you have to sign with another team. "You can say one thing and do another, but at the end of the day I don't get into it. With the things that I've been in with GMs, where I had one GM (former Clippers GM Neil Olshey, who now is in Portland) say that you'll never get traded and the next thing you know that ends up happening a few days later. And now you have another GM who says you're going to be here long term, so you would expect that to be the longest term that you can for being a part of this team (contractually). And I am here long term, but I could've had an opportunity to have five (years) instead of four." USA Today Sports

February 8, 2013 | 03:34 PM ET Update

Source: #Cavs prepared to offer Oden a 2 year deal with a team option for a third year after trade deadline The Cavs are expected to offer free agent center Greg Oden a two-year contract with a team option for a third year after the Feb. 21 trade deadline passes, a league source said. The Cavs have about $4 million in cap space, which they are preserving now for potential trades. Teams around the league don't want to sign Oden until after the trade deadline. Sulia

Oden is living nearby in Columbus. His agent, Mike Conley Sr., said last week Oden has been to see the Cavs a couple of times already, but was evasive when pressed as to what capacity. “Greg has been up there (to Cleveland) before and he’ll probably be up there again in an official capacity,” Conley said Friday. Sulia

If there’s an NBA player who doesn’t want more minutes, then perhaps that player has a problem with being too content. Andre Miller, like many others, indeed would like to play more, and said as much recently. But his agent explained Friday that Miller is committed to the Nuggets — the team Miller signed with this past summer during free agency — and Nuggets executive Masai Ujiri said, “Andre is not going anywhere. We want to win.” Denver Post

But agent Andy Miller spoke to his client, and the agent said Friday, “From my perspective, nothing has changed in his goals and why he signed with the team. He wants to continue to contribute, and hopefully making the playoffs and a surge deep into the playoffs will also show his commitment.” Denver Post

Trade rumors won’t rattle Shawn Marion. The 14-year veteran, who has played for four teams, figures it’s just part of the business. Besides, Marion claims that he’d simply refuse to report if the Mavericks trade him to a bad team. “If I’m going to get traded, they’re going to tell me what’s going on and where I’m going,” Marion said. “Because if I’m going to a (expletive) situation, I’m not going. It’s just that simple. ESPN.com

“At this time, I’m too old to be trying to go through and be a, you know what I’m saying, not have a chance to do anything. I’m at a point where I want to be playing for something right now.” Marion didn’t have an angry tone when he delivered this message. He was just very matter of fact about it, insisting that he isn’t going to any other team that doesn’t have a chance to contend for a title. “That’s the only way I’m going, yeah,” Marion said. “Yeah, that’s it. That’s the only possibility that could come out of that. Other than that, it ain’t happening.” ESPN.com

Sporting News checked in with Henry Schafer, vice president of Q Scores, to see how the past year has affected the view of Howard in the U.S. The numbers aren't pretty. In January 2012, Howard was recognized by 28 percent of those polled, and his Q Score (which measures the familiarity and appeal of celebrities in the country) was 20. That's a very good number, considering the average for athletes is about 16. But by last September, after his strange and miserable season with the Orlando Magic, he was down to 15. And when his Q Score was measured again this January, he came in at a 13. "That's a very big drop," Schafer said. "Considering there was no social indiscretion, you don't usually see a drop like that. It looks like the last year and everything that has happened has taken its toll. He was popular, but now with all the questions about whether he is compatible with his team and coaches, that seems to be reflected here." Sporting News

Another surprise is that LeBron James, whose image has undergone a revamp, saw his Q Score hold steady, despite winning a gold medal in the London Olympics and being the subject of an oft-aired Sprint commercial that shows him as a friend and father. Last September, James' Q Score was a 17, and he registered a 17 again in January. Also of interest is the rising popularity of Kevin Durant. He had a Q Score of 17 last January, and is up to a 19 this January. Sporting News

And while the 30-year-old swingman's far from a household name, he's planning on changing that by bringing a loaded arsenal to Houston, as he told SLAM's Kicks blog: K1X: Did you prepare for it? Or do you know which dunks you’re going to do? James White: To be honest, I never practice dunks. I just do whatever comes to my mind. K1X: But when do you decide what you want to do? Do you decide in mid-air? Granted, you do have a little bit of time up there. JW: [Laughs] I have a general idea of what I want to do when I take the ball and get ready to jump. Everybody knows that I have the dunks from the free throw line and all that stuff in my back pocket. I can always pull those out. I watch what my competition does in the dunk contest and then decide which of my dunks I will do. I have about five dunks where I’m absolutely certain that I will get a 50 on those. So it’s just a matter of when to use which of those dunks. SLAM

While White respects Green, he doesn't believe anyone can bring to the table what he can. "Whatever I do is going to be new. It's not going to be seen in the NBA dunk contest," he said. "You've seen it maybe on YouTube, but you haven't seen it on the NBA stage. You've seen windmills. Everything they do has to be with gimmicks, which is what's making it corny." ESPN.com

February 8, 2013 | 01:55 PM ET Update

The Timberwolves have lost 13 of their past 15 games, but not because of Nikola Pekovic, who in the team's loss to San Antonio on Wednesday night, Feb. 7, had his eighth 20-point, 10-rebound game of the season. The 6-foot-11, 281-pound center from Montenegro can become a restricted free agent after the season, but he said he definitely wants to remain in Minnesota. "I like everything about Minnesota," Pekovic said. "First of all, I like the team. I think we can do a lot when we're healthy. I like the coaching staff." St. Paul Pioneer Press

While the minutes have been limited for him playing behind Euro basketball maintays like Juan Carlos Navarro and Pete Mickeal, Ingles says he's relished his experience with Barça. The NBA, a lifelong dream for Ingles, could very well come next. "My dream (growing up) was playing in the NBA," Ingles said during the Spanish Cup that takes place this week in Vitoria. "Also playing in the Olympics with Australia. That's huge for us. But obviously everybody that plays basketball wants to play in the NBA one day." HoopsHype

Isaiah Thomas will participate in the 2013 Rising Stars Challenge after all, as "commissioner" Kenny Smith added him to the pool of players before Thursday night's draft. Isaiah was picked by Charles Barkley toward the end of the draft. (He was not, however, the last pick.) Joining Isaiah on Team Chuck will be Anthony Davis, Kenneth Faried, Ricky Rubio, Brandon Knight and Alexey Shved, among others. The top two point guards in the game, Damian Lillard and Kyrie Irving, landed on Team Shaq. Sactown Royalty

What has followed has been a monumentally frustrating season filled with injuries and public relations hits, stinging criticism from some once-adoring Timberwolves fans and another loss-filled season for a franchise that just can't seem to catch a break. "I think there's a lesson to be learned with everything," Love said on Thursday in his first day back at practice since having surgery on Jan. 15. "I think this has been a season that has put a lot into perspective, and whether it's directly or indirectly, just being in touch with a guy like Derrick Rose, talking to him and knowing what he's gone through, it's just tough. "It's obviously two different injuries, but it really sets the groundwork for how hard I'm going to work this summer, the team included. But eventually we're going to hit a string where everybody's going to be healthy." Oregonian

Philadelphia 76ers guard Jason Richardson, who has been out of the lineup since January 18, won't be returning any time soon. The 32-year-old confirmed today that he will undergo surgery next week to repair the cartilage in his left knee. He is expected to be out for the next nine months to a year. Richardson, who makes $5.8 million this year and $6.2 million next year, has a "hole the size of a quarter in his cartilage," according to the Daily News' Bob Cooney. Philadelphia Inquirer

February 8, 2013 | 11:40 AM ET Update

Long-time NBA reporter Chris Sheridan is reporting the Wolves are expected to move guard Luke Ridnour. Utah likes Ridnour, according to a source. But a separate source said the Jazz are not willing to deal guards Alec Burks and Raja Bell for Ridnour. In fact, Burks is off-limits in the discussions involving Ridnour. The most logical scenario involves Utah sacrificing the worse of its two first-round picks in the June draft -- the Jazz also owns Golden State's selection -- and Bell for Ridnour. Bell has an expiring contract. The Wolves don't appear to be involved in any blockbuster trade talks. 1500 ESPN

As for whether the Wolves could move guard Brandon Roy's contract, Taylor didn't rule it out. He also confirmed that Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn has engaged Roy's agent, Greg Lawrence, in buyout talks. When asked for comment via e-mail, Kahn said, "I think I was pretty clear when I spoke to the media back in late December that I was clear with Brandon that every option was on the table and would be discussed." 1500 ESPN

A source said Roy was asked if he was ready to retire again because of continuing issues he has had with his knees. Roy wasn't willing to call it quits, especially since he would have had to sacrifice the balance of his contract. A buyout was then proposed, which so far has been rejected. Lawrence, reached via e-mail, denied these details when asked. 1500 ESPN

February 8, 2013 | 09:42 AM ET Update

The Grizzlies are not done dealing, according to multiple sources -- they're just not looking to do any more stripping. The Grizzlies are far enough under the luxury tax that they're willing to utilize at least part of their $7.5 million trade exception to add some perimeter help. Acquiring SG Courtney Lee, who Boston would consider flipping for some frontline help, was discussed but the Celtics aren't looking just to drop salary but add size. That, of course, is if they continue their current run since Rajon Rondo went down; the winning streak apparently has GM Danny Ainge feeling an obligation to KG and Paul Pierce to give them whatever he can to take one more shot rather than move one of his veterans and begin rebuilding. Sulia

Kevin Garnett ended his postgame press conference Thursday night with an unprompted message to reporters that he'd like to stay in Boston. "I just want to say that I love my situation here," said Garnett. "I don't know what all your sources are, or whoever's making up this [expletive] articles about me getting traded to Denver and all these other places. "But I bleed green, and I will continue to do that. And if it's up to me I'm going to retire a Celtic." Boston Globe

Unprompted, Garnett sounded off on his name swirling in trade rumors recently while the Celtics try to overcome the loss of starters Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger. "On a last note, I just want to say that I love my situation here," said Garnett. "I don't know what y'all sources or whoever's making up these bull---- --- articles about me getting traded to Denver and all these other places. But I bleed green and I continue to do that. And if it's up to me, then I'm going to retire a Celtic. So I just want everybody to know that, alright?" ESPN.com

ESPN.com's Marc Stein first reported the talks, which a source told the Tribune were initiated by the Bulls and initially dismissed because of the Raptors' desire to land the Lakers' Pau Gasol. Though talks are not currently active, a source said the Raptors know the trade is available and could expand to include Nate Robinson and John Lucas III. Another source suggested it's unlikely the Raptors would take on Boozer's contract, which has $9.1 million more than Bargnani's over the next two seasons. Chicago Tribune

Despite the talks, there are no plans to use the amnesty provision on Boozer this summer. Boozer is having a strong season, but shedding his salary could improve the Bulls' long-term financial picture. Chicago Tribune

Carlos Boozer answered questions about the Bulls having preliminary discussions with Toronto about a trade that would send him to the Raptors for Andrea Bargnani and then struggled to keep up with energetic Denver forward Kenneth Faried, who had 21 points and 12 rebounds despite sitting out the fourth quarter. “Interesting,” Boozer said when told of the report, before adding: “That’s part of the business this time of year. I can’t worry about things that may or may not happen.” Chicago Sun-Times

Miller, who is the backup to Ty Lawson, said his career goal is to play 15 seasons in the NBA. Lawson is their point guard of the future and their starter of the present. “I want more minutes,” Miller said. “If we were losing I would really be complaining. But it’s going as it goes.” "I don't know how much longer they want me here. I definitely would like to contribute more,” Miller added when I asked if he wants to finish in Denver. “I’m not just going to sit back and settle in and be a backup and let my career just fade away. I’m competitive in that way.” Colorado Springs Gazette

Hakeem Olajuwon is sticking with his belief that Dwight Howard will re-sign this summer with the Los Angeles Lakers. If Howard is thinking differently, Olajuwon figures Howard will let him know. In a phone interview with Fox Sports Florida, Olajuwon, a Hall of Fame center, said Howard told him in the summer of 2011 that he wanted out of Orlando after eight seasons primarily due to how he was being used by then-Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, and that he wanted to end up with the Lakers. FOXSports Florida

"I want to catch up and see how (Howard) really feels," said Olajuwon, the greatest player in Rockets history, who will serve as a judge for the NBA's Feb. 16 dunk contest and be honored at the Feb. 17 Legends Brunch. "My first concept is to make him feel comfortable... The key is to make him comfortable so that he can open up and I know what the issues are (that concern Howard)." FOXSports Florida

"During the offseason, he didn't get a chance to play basketball and that's when you work on your conditioning," said Olajuwon, who believes Howard's recent shoulder injury is much less of a concern than HIS back situation. "And then he missed (most of) the preseason and to come right into a situation where there were a lot of expectations right away. So it was a tough position for him right away. "It takes time to fully recover (from back surgery). I see sometimes that he's very comfortable and agile but sometimes you see the timing and the delay and he's not as reactive. And I believe that's part of the recovery period. That will take time." FOXSports Florida

Asked if he felt pressured to return, Howard said: "No, I didn't." Howard said he had been targeting the Boston game to return if he could, even though teammate Kobe Bryant – who played through a labrum tear in 2003 – had been publicly noting the need for Howard to learn to manage his pain. Orange County Register

On his way out of the Garden, out of a humiliating 116-95 loss to the Boston Celtics, Bryant returned a clichéd question – "Are Dwight and you on the same page?" – without a clichéd response. With a bemused face and a shrug, Bryant told Yahoo! Sports: "What page is there to be on? Defend. Rebound…" He shrugged again. "I mean, what else is on the page?" Yahoo! Sports

Nevertheless, Bryant reached out to Howard early on Thursday to diffuse the drama, he told Yahoo! Sports. He fired off a text to message to insist that a part of his interview with the great Boston sportswriter, Jackie MacMullan, had been misconstrued in the public eye. Bryant swore he wasn't calling out Howard about sitting three straight games with a shoulder injury, that he wasn't questioning his toughness. "Listen, I really think people ran in the wrong direction with those quotes," Bryant told Y! Sports. "And I think that put Dwight on the defense, put him a little on edge. But that wasn't the intention, nor the purpose. "I didn't say anything earth-shattering. I didn't say anything I haven't been saying all year. "Honestly, I didn't take a run at him." Yahoo! Sports

So was it too much to expect Iguodala to lead the Nuggets in scoring and shoot better than 60 percent from the foul line? Coach George Karl is never afraid to tell me I'm wrong, so I asked him. "I'm not unhappy. That's unrealistic. You thought he'd be our leading scorer? I never thought that," Karl said. "He's a good scorer for us, and we have other guys we plug in. The way we play, we don't tilt the offense to one player until the end of the game. We just play basketball, go out, run and see who gets the touches." According to the coach, Iguodala has checked the box when it comes to distributing the ball and improving the team's defensive mind-set. Karl admits the pace of play has sometimes been a challenge for Iguodala. "His professionalism, it's not vocal ... but he's a pro. He prepares the right way; he's ready to go; he works his tail off," Karl said. "He hasn't seen that window or the opportunity to become the vocal leader of the team. But, in the first three or four months with a team, that's not unusual." Denver Post

What’s the best way to raise shackles in the German sports world? Easy: Publicly proclaim anything that projects Dirk Nowitzki in anything but glowing colors. Over at heinnews today is a report that FC Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has done just that. In a line made for today’s instant media, FC Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness proclaimed that his side would be unlikely to ever sign Nowitzki after his NBA career because “We are … not a nursing home for basketball players.” Ball In Europe

With a spinning, fadeaway jumper over the Lakers’ Earl Clark midway through the second quarter of Boston’s destruction of L.A. on Thursday, Kevin Garnett reached 25,000 career points, becoming the 16th player in NBA history to record the accomplishment. The list of players Garnett joined with at least 25,000 career points is an impressive one, and includes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Moses Malone, Elvin Hayes, Hakeem Olajuwon, Oscar Robertson, Dominique Wilkins, John Havlicek, Alex English, Reggie Miller, and Jerry West. NBCSports.com

"I'm not really sure how often a team has dealt with what Houston is dealing with right now," TNT analyst and former NBA player and executive Steve Kerr said. "I respect what he's trying to accomplish and how he's trying to help people. That's important. "Usually what happens is if a guy is tough to deal with, you don't have the energy and resources to handle that with so much else going on. It takes a really, really special and talented player to really want to deal with it." USA Today Sports

One veteran NBA player told USA TODAY Sports he wants reliability and dependability in a teammate. He spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of White's situation. The player had difficulty reconciling White's point that there is no difference between a mental illness and physical illness simply because mental illness are not as recognizable or definable as a physical injury. USA Today Sports

Gasol will be out at least six to eight weeks because of a tear in the bottom of his right foot, the Lakers said. There might be a handful of games left in the regular season when he returns. Might. Gasol was averaging 13.4 points and eight rebounds when he sustained the torn plantar fascia. He had been relegated to the bench, starting only when Dwight Howard sat out because of a sore shoulder, but his teammates said he would be missed. "I think L.A.'s kind of seeing how much we miss Pau and what he brings to the table in his skill set," Kobe Bryant said Thursday after the Lakers trailed by 32 points and lost to the Boston Celtics, 116-95. "Maybe now they'll start appreciating him a little bit more." Los Angeles Times

Charlotte Bobcats rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist practiced Thursday for the first time since suffering a concussion in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s road loss to the Houston Rockets. Practicing was one of several steps Kidd-Gilchrist must take before being cleared to play under the NBA’s concussion protocol. The Bobcats haven’t yet ruled him out to play against the Los Angeles Lakers Friday, but doctors – both with the team and the NBA – will make the final call as to whether he’s ready. Charlotte Observer

The one concern shared by all three was whether the Thunder has enough inside scoring and rebounding to make Miami pay for playing small. “To me, the key to that team is going to be (Serge) Ibaka,” Barkley said. “(Russell) Westbrook and Ibaka are the keys. Westbrook has to get better at making people around him better. He has not done that. He's already an All-Star. Now comes the point where he (needs to be) like, ‘Oh, I've got to make the guys around me better.' “But Ibaka to me is the guy. The only way to beat the Miami Heat is down low. And Ibaka shoots a lot of jumpers. He's got to post up and punish Chris Bosh down low.” Oklahoman

Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph is the recipient of the "Kia Community Assist Award" for January in recognition of his outstanding efforts in the community and his ongoing philanthropic and charitable work, the NBA announced today. This marks Randolph's second time being awarded the "Kia Community Assist Award," having previously won in December 2010. NBA.com

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.