HoopsHype rumors

February 12, 2013 | 07:51 PM ET Update

Delonte West hasn't joined the Texas Legends more than two weeks after the NBA Development League team acquired his rights. West was picked up by the affiliate of the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 25, though Mavericks owner Mark Cuban flatly ruled out a return to the team that suspended the veteran guard twice in two weeks before waiving him in October. USA Today Sports

Donnie Nelson, Mavericks president of basketball operations and co-owner of the Legends, says the "door is open" but he hasn't had any contact with a new agent for West. "He's got a big heart and deserves a second chance with someone," Nelson said. "He needs to play, whether it's here or overseas." USA Today Sports

Terrence Ross is thrilled to be one of six competitors and the lone rookie entrant in Saturday’s Sprite Slam Dunk contest in Houston as part of All-Star Saturday. And as the Toronto Raptors guard defies gravity, he’ll be uplifted by a number of young fans he probably never knew he had. That’s because the 22-year-old guard out of Washington plans to dunk something far bigger than basketballs — he wants to help dunk cancer and help the children battling the despicable disease every day. Before the Raptors play host to the Denver Nuggets tonight, Ross will announce his involvement in launching a three-part fundraising campaign in partnership with “Dunk Cancer” and its month-long initiative, ”Dunk Cancer Month,” during the NBA’s All-Star Weekend. Ross has committed to help raise money to benefit the Children’s Cancer Association and his high school back home, Jefferson High, in Portland, Ore. “Ever since I was in about the third grade, my mom has run an out-of-home day care service,” Ross said. “So there were always kids around. One of the kids that she took care of had cancer. We were close to the family and were always around each other so it hit home for us. That’s the main reason I’ve chosen to support “Dunk Cancer” and “Dunk Cancer Month.” NBA.com

So what does the 6-foot-6, 195-pound Ross, the youngest of the contestants, have planned? “I’ve been planning my dunks for about a week now, testing them with teammates to see which will get really good scores,” said Ross, who noted that Raptors newcomer Rudy Gay has provided some pointers. “I’m definitely going to do something new, nothing I’ve done during the season.” So a few surprises then? “Possibly,” said Ross, who is averaging 6.6 ppg and 2.1 rpg in 17.3 mpg. “I think I have a fairly good chance of winning. Plus, I need to advance to build up my contribution.” NBA.com

When John Hollinger was hired, that was a signal to many people that the Grizzlies are going to rely on analytics and advanced stats. How much do you rely on those types of things? Pera: Well, we like the movie "Moneyball." They use a lot of advanced statistics for the Oakland A's teams. But the difference between baseball and basketball, is (in) baseball, you have individual players, they each have an on-base percentage and a batting average, defensive capabilities. All these parts added together equals the strength of the team, right? But in basketball it's completely different. A player can be immensely valuable in one system and maybe not as valuable in another system. I think it's the combination of pieces in basketball. Analytics are a great tool but you also have to look at the individual player analytics in the context of the system you're running. Q: Did you read a lot of Hollinger before you hired him? Pera: Sure, sure, of course. The Player Efficiency Rating, it's officially adopted by ESPN, so it's a great metric. Memphis Commercial Appeal

Pera: I think what I was trying to say is like OK, I don't want to profit off this team at all. I'm not running it as necessarily a business. Definitely I'm prepared to write a check (to cover franchise losses), and I will write a check at the end of the year. And whether I'm worth a billion dollars or 10 billion dollars, I believe creating a great franchise isn't about throwing money. You've got to carefully assemble the right parts and have the right chemistry. And then what I wanted to say, not only are we not thrifty, but we've inherited financial obligations from the previous ownership for moving the team to Memphis, which we're paying, and the FedEx sponsorship, naming rights, that's all front-loaded from (previous owner Michael) Heisley's time. We're perfectly OK with those economic burdens. I just used a bad choice of words. I wanted to illustrate that we're financially committed. Memphis Commercial Appeal

February 12, 2013 | 06:18 PM ET Update

Still, the Nets are focusing on Utah's Paul Millsap or another power forward to add by the trading deadline. The Nets and Jazz have been trading partners in the past, highlighted by the Nets' bold move to get Williams at the 2011 mid-season deadline. But King also insists he hasn't given up on this group. New York Daily News

As for Smith and where he winds up, it remains to be seen. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, Smith's representatives have made calls to other teams and have indicated he's not likely to re-sign in Atlanta. USA Today Sports

But Smith may have hurt his own cause by deeming himself a max player and scaring off potential suitors. One of the teams that may have been willing to give him a max deal was Dallas and it appears they're no longer in the mix. The Mavericks, according to a person with knowledge of their situation, had talks with the Hawks that are no longer active. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the talks. USA Today Sports

The Nets again won't have Deron Williams when they host the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, and it's also looking as if they won't have Josh Smith or Ben Gordon by the time the NBA's trading deadline passes in eight days. According to league sources familiar with the Nets thinking, they're still searching to add a big man, but don't believe that they are going to wind up with Smith or Gordon, despite having recent trade talks with Atlanta and Charlotte. New York Daily News

Nuggets executive Masai Ujiri has been one of the league's most active in terms of trades in recent years, but the odds appear slim that Denver will be dealing before the deadline. His comments made in mid-December, then, likely still apply: "I think you have to let (the roster) sit," he said then. "You can't continue to make changes, and don't give kids a chance to get better or to grow…I think that's the direction we're going to take as an organization." USA Today Sports

Or there’s the third, very popular option: the juuuuuuust-a-split-second-too-late halfcourt heave. You know, give the appearance you’re shooting it but oh darn it, the buzzer went off before I let it go so it doesn’t count. It actually became enough of an issue with the Thunder that Scott Brooks felt the need to address it with the team this season. “We talked about it, about seven weeks ago maybe, couple months ago, and we talked about it,” Brooks said. “I said ‘We have to shoot that shot. There’s still time in the game — shoot it.’ The only time we don’t shoot it is if we’re up and it’s the last seconds because you don’t want to do that. “We had that talk and somebody on our team did not take it that same night, and then we all got on him,” he said. “The next night, somebody made that shot.” DailyThunder.com

So it’s kind of hard to blame a guy for waiting that extra half second to wait for the buzzer to sound. “They know. They know,” Brooks said. “They see that light, that light turns on and then they throw it up.” What about Brooks? Did he shoot it? “Yeah, because that’s a shot attempt,” he said. “I knew I wasn’t going to make it though.” Did he make any? “Yeah, sure I did. You guys aren’t going to look it up, so I made seven of ‘em.” DailyThunder.com

As he prepares to head to Houston this weekend to lobby the NBA's team owners to keep pro basketball in Sacramento, Mayor Kevin Johnson said he is getting "very close" to revealing the deep-pocketed investors he has recruited to make a pitch to buy the franchise. Those investors - along with a plan for a new downtown arena - would be the foundation of Johnson's argument to the NBA to block a deal the Kings' owners have to sell the franchise to a group that would move the team to Seattle in time for the 2013/14 season. Sacramento Bee

The son of basketball legend Larry Bird was arrested Sunday at Indiana University, said Chief Keith Cash of the Indiana University Police Department. Connor Bird, 21, allegedly tried to hit his ex-girlfriend with a car. Bird faces multiple preliminary charges, Cash said, including battery with injury, criminal mischief, intimidation with a deadly weapon and possession of marijuana. Indianapolis Star

February 12, 2013 | 03:57 PM ET Update

More (rightfully) dismissive replies followed before ‘BeBoutBidness’ and ‘LilFrontOffice’ pointed out that Pera was awarded “All-Star” status (usually given to a poster with a massive amount of posts) after just one message on the board – a sign that this might not be some joker that was quick to grab the “Robert Pera” handle. And then, in his first meeting with local media in three months on Tuesday, Pera admitted to following the team’s message board. If not grabbing ideas from it as the thread he replied to posited. Rightfully, the thread was bumped up almost immediately. Yahoo! Sports

Kenneth Faried is the first NBA player to join forces with Athlete Ally, an organization working to raise awareness and end homophobia in sports. Here’s a commentary I recently wrote about gays in sports. Faried joins NFL players Brendon Ayanbadejo of the Super Bowl champ Ravens, Chris Kluwe of the Vikings, Scott Fujita of the Browns and Connor Barwin of the Texans, as well as two Australian pro athletes to help with the cause. “Becoming an Athlete Ally gives me the opportunity to spread a message of inclusiveness throughout the NBA and our country,” Faried said in a statement. “I have two moms and I love them both very much. I respect, honor and support them in every way. The bond I have with them has made me realize that I want all members of the LGBT community – whether they are parents, players, coaches or fans – to feel welcome in the NBA and in all of our communities.” Denver Post

A member of Pennsylvania's 1979 Final Four team died early on Monday after he was fatally stabbed in his home in Media, Pa. According to authorities, Matthew White, 53, was stabbed by a woman while he was sleeping in his bed. White's wife, Maria Rey Garcia-Pellon, is being charged with first-degree murder and is currently being held in a Delaware County jail. USA Today Sports

Police say Garcia-Pellon went to a friend's home afterward and told her she had caught her husband viewing child pornography. White was the starting center on Penn's Final Four team. He was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers and also played in Europe. USA Today Sports

February 12, 2013 | 01:10 PM ET Update

The Spurs are among the teams with interest in Hawks forward Josh Smith, a source told Yahoo! Sports. Keep in mind, Hawks general manager Danny Ferry was previously with the Spurs. Yahoo! Sports

And that’s hard to leave. But if Smith is traded, he is ready for that, too. It is Atlanta general manager Danny Ferry‘s call to make by the Feb. 21 trade deadline. The Brooklyn Nets, according to reports, are pushing the hardest. “I will say there is a lot invested,” said Smith, who has gone on a tear over the last nine games. “I was born and raised there, spent my whole childhood and my whole life there. I will say it’s a big investment.” But, Smith continued, “Once you understand as a player that this is a business and you don’t take anything personal, you kind of worry about just playing basketball.” NBA.com

The Suns also have shown interest in a bigger splash for Utah’s Al Jefferson or Gordon Hayward. Dudley could be a part of either of those deals with center Marcin Gortat likely needed to make one work for Jefferson, a 28-year-old power forward who makes $14 million and is averaging 17.4 points and 9.5 rebounds. Hayward, a 22-year-old swingman, is averaging 13.5 points in a reserve role. “We all realize this is a business,” Suns interim head coach Lindsey Hunter said. “I was a player once, and I was traded a couple times. It’s nothing personal. It’s just business, and I think guys understand that now.” Arizona Republic

All Suns players are available via trade, according to a source. Phoenix has strong interest in Knicks guard Iman Shumpert that doesn't appear to be reciprocated. Yahoo! Sports

A source said to keep an eye on forward J.J. Hickson, whose Bird Rights allow teams to go over the salary cap to re-sign him, as possible trade bait. Yahoo! Sports

Detroit Pistons backup point guard Will Bynum might have a trade-friendly expiring contract but with nine days until the NBA trade deadline he insists he doesn't contemplate the possibility of getting shipped elsewhere. "To be honest with you, I don't care," Bynum said Monday. "All I care about is winning and trying to make the eighth spot (in the Eastern Conference playoffs). whatever happens happens. "Right now, I'm just concerned with us getting as many wins as possible, taking it one day at a time and trying to make the playoffs." Booth Newspapers

Smith said he and Howard have not talked recently and have never discussed their futures in much detail. “You know, he’s going through a rough stretch right now, so I like giving people their space when they’re going through situations so they can be able to just try to work it out,” Smith said. “Whenever he needs my advice I’ll be there for him. We haven’t really necessarily talked about anything as of right now, so I’m pretty sure he’s just trying to get back healthy, trying to get his timing back. I’m just trying to focus on what I’m doing as far as getting better as a player and trying to be as successful as possible for this team.” NBA.com

Pete Smith won’t find much to criticize in the 105-101 win. His son went 10-for-15 from the floor, canned a season-high-tying four 3-pointers on five attempts, including a huge one with 1:29 to go for a 99-94 lead. OK, so he did have five turnovers and missed a pair of late free throws before making two with 22.2 seconds to go. “I have to wait for his texts,” Josh Smith said. “I know he’s probably texted me two or three times, a long paragraph about whatever he feels like I did, but it’s always something. It’s all good. That’s my dad.” NBA.com

The Hawks are positioned for a sixth consecutive trip to the playoffs in Smith’s ninth season, but the question is if this team is built to make a legitimate run at the Miami Heat for the East crown. “I’m not sure; that’s going to be interesting,” center Al Horford said. “It’s one of those things that can be frustrating, because when you see the potential of our team in a game like tonight it makes you wonder. So it’s going to be one of those things that management is going to have to make a decision and see what they feel like.” NBA.com

Steve Bulpett: More sources saying what we've already been hearing: Testing being done, but it's looking like an ACL for Barbosa. Twitter @SteveBHoop

After all, he's been patient since the devastating April 28 injury. Rose maintains he won't play until he's ready and not a second sooner. "I don't have a set date," Rose told USA TODAY Sports on Monday in his first extensive interview since the 2012-13 NBA season began. "I'm not coming back until I'm 110%. Who knows when that can be? It can be within a couple of weeks. It could be next year. It could be any day. It could be any time. It's just that I'm not coming back until I'm ready." USA Today Sports

Pau Gasol limped into the Lakers' practice facility Monday, leaning on a pair of giant crutches. Gasol rejoined his team after the Lakers finished a seven-game trip. The Lakers forward-center confirmed he will not have surgery on the torn plantar fascia in his right foot. The team expects Gasol to be out a minimum of six to eight weeks with the injury. "He's fine," said Coach Mike D'Antoni. "He's on crutches and he'll probably be there for a while but we'll get him back as soon as we can." Gasol tweeted a picture showing his leg in a giant boot. "Getting treatment," wrote Gasol. "This boot helps me get rid of the swelling caused by the fascia's tear. #recovery" Los Angeles Times

According to the SBJ article, once a plan to sell jersey ads is in place, the league must devise a way to split revenue from the ad sales among the 30 teams. A source told the magazine that league executives have yet to reach an agreement on how best to share the estimated $100 million in jersey ad revenue. “The idea of pooling a percentage of proceeds among the league’s 30 teams, sources said, is one way the league is looking to offset the wide range in the value of jersey deals between high-revenue teams like the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers and low-revenue teams such as the Memphis Grizzlies and Charlotte Bobcats,” according to the SBJ article. FOXSports Ohio

Connor Bird, the son of Larry Bird, was arrested Sunday after he tried to hit his ex-girlfriend with his car. The incident took place in Bloomington, on campus of Indiana University. Bird and his ex got into an argument at his apartment earlier in the day and he threw his cell phone at her. From the Journal and Courier: Later, police said, Bird waited at his ex-girlfriend’s home and took her to a parking lot to talk things over. There, however, they got into another fight, police said, and the girl got out of Bird’s car with the intent of walking back to her home. That’s when, police said, Bird twice tried to hit the woman with his car. The Big Lead

February 12, 2013 | 06:21 AM ET Update

That's the conundrum Magic executives must wrestle with as the NBA trade deadline approaches on Feb. 21. Although Redick said Sunday that the team is not actively trying to move him to another team, the fact is that other clubs are calling the Magic to try and pry him away. Redick, 28, is in the final year of his contract, and he began the season knowing that trade rumors would swirl around him. "It hasn't been difficult," he said. "I think I'm handling it well. My concentration has just been on the things that I can control." Orlando Sentinel

Shawn Marion declared last week that he would refuse to report if the Dallas Mavericks traded him to a, um, stinky situation. That's certainly the versatile veteran forward's right, but reasonable minds might wonder what exactly there is to like about the Mavs' situation at the moment. "Man, I'm done talking about that," Marion said after the Mavs' 105-100 loss to the Atlanta Hawks at the American Airlines Center. "I don't even want to talk about it no more, really. It doesn't even matter. I'm here. I ain't going nowhere." ESPN.com

A couple of former Mavericks came through town with the Hawks on Monday, and both said it would be fine with them if they ended up back in Dallas again. DeShawn Stevenson has been steadfast since he helped win the 2011 championship that the Mavericks were the organization for whom he’s best suited. “I’d love to play my last two, three seasons here,” said Stevenson, who will turn 32 on April 3. “This was the best franchise I ever played for, here and Washington. They handle things and treat people great. They do everything the right way.” Dallas Morning News

“It takes two teams to trade,” Cuban said Monday evening. “There’s a lot of deals we would make [laughs], but nobody seems willing to do what we want to do. You never know, but nothing imminent. The bank’s still open.” The bank is still open, but Cuban will be very judicious when determining whether a deal is worth sacrificing space under the salary cap this summer. Tampering rules prevent Cuban from coming out and saying it, but the Mavs aren’t bowing out of the Dwight Howard sweepstakes unless they can acquire a building block in the next week and a half. “It’s gotta be something really, really, really good,” Cuban said. “It’s got to be a futures type player that we can build around or really adds a lot.” ESPN.com

It’s still unlikely Shumpert gets moved, but Grunwald is exploring possibilities. His ears could be even more open following Sunday’s discouraging loss to the Clippers, who looked the more talented team. According to a source, the Rockets’ director of scouting attended Sunday’s game, but he may have been checking out more than Shumpert, who may not be back to his old self until next season as he returns from ACL surgery. New York Post

The NBA trade deadline is just over a week away (3 p.m. on Feb. 21), but Nets general manager Billy King doesn’t feel pressure to make a deal. “I think we’ve had our peaks and valleys, our ebbs and flows, and right now we’re definitely in an ebb,” King said before last night’s 89-84 overtime win over the Pacers. “Can we correct it? Yes. Do I believe this group can regroup and play well? Yes. “Are we going to make a trade? I’m not going to make a trade just to make a trade.” New York Post

Livingston knows all this. The battle is in his mind. The struggle is allowing his mind to trust his body. There is no room for hesitation in the NBA. "How will you ever know if you don't approach it with the same mind-set that you had before the injury happened?" Livingston said. "It's tough. I'm still 27. I still feel like my prime is 28, 29. There is still potential left out there. But the league isn't getting any older. It's getting younger. I don't want to hold myself back. I do want to try and accomplish more. I do feel like I can accomplish more. I can do better. I can get better production on the court. But it is really going out there and doing it at this stage." Grantland

The ever-brash Cassell broke into the league more than a decade before Livingston and played extrovert to Livingston's introvert. They once shared the court in a game against Utah. Livingston took the ball out of bounds and nearly drew a five-second violation before signaling for a timeout. "I ripped into his ass," said Cassell, now an assistant with Washington. "He didn't speak to me for a couple of days because of the tone. I verbally went at him. I told him, 'I'm not going to be wide open with eight seconds left in a game. You've got to get the ball to me.' He took it personally. He didn't speak to me, but I didn't care. I've seen the change right there in him: getting guys in the right position, running the offense, not having to rely on me to bring the ball up when guys are on him. I just saw him start to take off from there." Grantland

Lin, who signed the Rockets' three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet in the summer that wasn't matched by the Knicks, is no longer seen as a savior but a respected basketball player who, at 24 years old, is still looking to grow his game. He's a worthy sidekick to new Rockets star James Harden, the two of them trying to lead Houston to the playoffs for the first time since 2009. Reunions and such, he made clear, are not his concern at the moment. "I'm going to go home, spend time with my family and people who are really close to me and then play the game and treat it like business," he told USA TODAY Sports. USA Today Sports

On Monday, Barkley appeared on the "Dan Patrick Show" and said that Lakers center Dwight Howard should tell off meddlesome teammate Kobe Bryant. Bryant has said on several occasions that Howard should stop complaining about playing with a shoulder injury. "He should have already told Kobe Bryant to shut the hell up by now, or [tell him he's going to] kick his ass" Barkley said. "He should have done that by now because, as a man, there's only so many times you can call me out publicly. If you keep calling me out publicly, I've got to come back at you at some point. I think [Kobe] has crossed the line somewhat lately . . . "At some point Dwight has to say, 'Hey man, you need to shut the hell up and get off my back. It ain't up to you. You ain't my coach.' " Philadelphia Inquirer

If Bryant wanted to call out Dwight Howard for resting his injured shoulder for three games last week despite being medically cleared to play, he would've just done so. Instead, Bryant claimed his call for "urgency" was misinterpreted as a call-out and turned into a "manufactured conflict." "I didn't say anything wrong. I didn't say anything to hammer him over the head or take a run at him," Bryant said before the Los Angeles Lakers' practice Monday. "That was actually manufactured. I'd own up to it if I took a run at somebody. "Urgency is something we've been trumpeting, we've been beating that drum since the beginning of the season when we started struggling." ESPN.com

On paper, the trio of Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Mike D'Antoni should produce pick-and-roll magic. On reality, it's often been pick-and-roll mush. So what's the problem? After Monday's practice in El Segundo, the topic was broached to all three principals. (In case you missed them, earlier Sulia posts have featured D'Antoni's and Nash's thoughts.) "Teams play the pick-and-roll differently than they would play, say, Robert Sacre, Jordan Hill or somebody," said Howard. "They understand that my number one objective is to screen, get out of the screen as quick as possible, then get deep position. A lot of teams, they stay with my body, push up over the screen, and allow the guards to get back to Steve or they just trap Steve as soon as possible to get the ball out of his hands and everybody else is in the paint. So it seems like it would be super easy for our pick-and-rolls right now, but we just have to figure out how to play through each other off the pick-and-rolls." Sulia

"I understand what we're trying to do out of the pick-and-roll. It just hasn't been very effective... We're playing against those quick, big guards and they've been trying to do the best they can of making Steve work for everything. So, it's been a little difficult, but we'll figure it out." For what it's worth, Howard emphasized the importance of figuring it out. "It should be a deadly weapon. The pick-and-roll with me and Kobe or me and Steve should be deadly. It hasn't been as effective every night as we'd like it to be, but it takes time and we just gotta continue to work on it in practice and in games and hopefully it gets better." Sulia

Dwight Howard said he intends to play in this weekend's NBA All-Star Game as long as he doesn't aggravate the torn labrum in his right shoulder during the Los Angeles Lakers' final two games before the break. "Hopefully I'll be able to play," Howard said before the Lakers practiced Monday. "If I were to re-aggravate my shoulder in these next two games, I'd probably just play a couple minutes (in the All-Star Game) and sit the rest of it out." ESPN.com

When asked later if he was pretty much being told that Barbosa's season is over, Garnett responded, "pretty much." CSNNE.com

Gary Washburn: An MRI tomorrow for Barbosa but it doesn't look good. Don't expect him back this season #celtics Twitter @GwashNBAGlobe

The injured center had said he wanted to return in February. He doesn't sound so optimistic about that now. “I'm not sure,” Bynum said Monday, before the Sixers hosted the Los Angeles Clippers. “It's all going to depend on it we get a setback or not.” Delaware County Daily Times

Bynum said the pain he's experiencing does not produce swelling and the pain goes away by the next day. “It's just not ready,” Bynum said. Delaware County Daily Times

Indiana Pacers small forward Danny Granger took a significant step toward returning to the lineup Monday. Granger didn’t report any significant problems from his first fullcourt contact practice on Sunday. “He said he felt really good,” Paces coach Frank Vogel said. “Couple of movements he felt like he was still getting his confidence back to explode. No pain or anything. Just normal recovering type of stuff in your first live action.” Indianapolis Star

King said Williams will spend the rest of the week resting and working out in a pool in order to keep off his ankles as much as possible. King said he hopes the rest will help rejuvenate Williams’ game after the break. “It has been bothering him all year,” King said. “We were going to do it at the All-Star break and we talked to the doctors and Deron and it was like, ‘Why don’t we give him the full week so we can do it and give him a full week and time to recover.’ So we decided to do it [Sunday] night.” New York Post

The idea is to strengthen his core by keeping his back straight while he taps on the drums. Drummond injured his back last week and is expected out four to six weeks. "He is our Ringo Starr," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. "I think it is very important that when you are injured in all professional sports to remain engaged. Sometimes in sports when you are injured, you become invisible. I think it is important that we integrate him in everything we do and he integrates himself. Mentally you are preparing like you are playing, but physically you can't play. So you prepare yourself as best you can." Detroit News

Jasen Powell, the Clippers trainer, raced to Livingston before play stopped. Dr. Steven Shimoyama quickly followed. Livingston's knee looked like a pretzel, Shimoyama thought to himself. He could tell that Livingston had sustained a severe knee dislocation and wanted to lessen the agonizing suffering immediately. He prepared to pop the knee back into place, knowing the potential problems if it did not lock back in on the first attempt. Each subsequent attempt would have a lower rate of success than the last. The dislocation impaired the circulation to Livingston's foot; gangrene could set in if Shimoyama failed. Worse, failure could necessitate amputation. Shimoyama flexed Livingston's knee and hip to loosen up the hamstring so he would not fight muscle contractions as he tried to put the knee back into place. He placed an elbow on Livingston's knee to increase his pull. After a few seconds, the knee popped back into place.4 Grantland

He realized the gravity of his injury when he arrived at the hospital. A female doctor, Jones said, entered the room. She told Livingston he may be facing amputation. She'd yet to examine him, but after viewing Livingston's awkward landing on television — announcers warned squeamish viewers to turn away before showing replays — she prepared him for the worst. Wang, Jones said, told him that the doctor displayed unprofessionalism in saying this, whether she believed it or not. Wang asked the doctor to speak with him outside the room because she didn't want to administer a Doppler ultrasound to assess the circulation to his knee. Livingston eventually left the room for the test. Jones prayed, and while he did, a television in the room showed the replay of Livingston's injury. It was the first and only time Jones has seen it. He nearly broke down as he waited for Livingston. Grantland

Andrei Kirilenko has been named as FIBA Europe Men's Player of the Year for the second time in his career Andrei Kirilenko has been voted as FIBA Europe Men's Player of the Year 2012, reclaiming the award he previously won back in 2007. Whilst most NBA players became frustrated during the lockout that kept them of the courts at the end of 2011, other players found that it worked in their favour. One player falling into the latter category was Kirilenko, who thrived on the opportunity to return to his native Russia and play for CSKA Moscow. Sportando

The Spurs have been at the forefront of acquiring top international talent over the years, but Gregg Popovich believes the rest of the NBA has caught on. “There are great coaches and great players all over the world at this point, and I think everybody finally believes that,” said Popovich. “It took a while for the NBA to buy into it. I don’t mean the league, I mean teams, coaches, general managers.” RealGM

While there has been a steady growth of international players in the NBA, Popovich believes the next step could be the integration of international coaches to the NBA. “Absolutely,” said Popovich on the thought of international coaches making the jump to the NBA. “There are coaches overseas that are as good or better than we who are the coaches here.” RealGM

A couple of hours earlier, Erik Spoelstra had enjoyed one of the greatest honors of his 42-year-old life, a “pinch yourself moment,” with the president of the United States praising his steady handling of adversity and controversy. Now Spoelstra and his team had moved to the next part of the Jan. 28 program, a visit to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. That’s when something happened that, even after a championship, still occurs once or twice per month. “Where’s the coach?” a Walter Reed staffer asked. “I thought Pat Riley coached the team.” Spoelstra laughed then, and during the recollection. “That doesn’t bum me out at all,” Spoelstra said. “I don’t have an ego about it. That’s partly why we’ve been able to work together effectively for so long.” Palm Beach Post

Former coaches, freer to speak, are no less laudatory. Dr. Jack Ramsay, a Heat broadcaster for seven of Spoelstra’s seasons as an assistant, believes Spoelstra has received too little credit and too much criticism. For Ramsay, the true achievement has been establishing authority: “He’s coach of the team. You don’t have to say any more than that.” Flip Saunders, now an ESPN analyst, thinks the public underestimates the challenge of guiding gifted squads: “When you don’t have a lot of talent, you get them to do whatever you want them to do, because if they don’t perform at that level, they get beat pretty bad.” Saunders cites calmness, flexibility and innovation as Spoelstra strengths, noting how Spoelstra has “unleashed” more 3-point shots while experimenting with more zone defense. “He is not afraid to change and adapt his style,” Saunders said. “While sometimes when you coached against Pat, it was, ‘This is how we are going to play, by hell and highwater.’ That’s important because players have changed, and you have to be able to adapt to what they do.” Palm Beach Post

Knicks center Tyson Chandler called ESPN analyst Jay Williams' assertion that members of the 2002-03 Chicago Bulls smoked marijuana prior to games "ridiculous" on Monday evening. Chandler and Williams played together on the 2002-03 Bulls. "I don't know why he would say something like that. I think that's ridiculous that he would come out and say something. I don't remember that to be honest with you. And it's unfortunate that he would make that kind of statement about our game," Chandler said at the team's charity bowling event to support Madison Square Garden's Garden of Dreams Foundation. ESPN.com

Bryant, who has nearly 1.3 million Twitter followers, reprimanded a fan who tweeted "You're gay" to another fan. In response to the insult that was posted Sunday on his own Twitter feed, Bryant tweeted: "Just letting you know@PacSmoove @pookeo9 that using "your gay" as a way to put someone down ain't ok! #notcool delete that out ur vocab." Bryant was fined $100,000 in April for using a gay slur in a nationally televised game, an incident that NBA commissioner David Stern called "offensive and inexcusable." ESPN.com

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