HoopsHype rumors

March 2, 2013 | 07:36 PM ET Update

Metta World Peace didn't want to talk. No way. No comment. Of course, he couldn't help himself and began a 16-minute discourse on a variety of topics. First and foremost: The NBA isn't doing enough to protect Lakers teammate Dwight Howard. "Dwight gets fouled a lot intentionally. Dwight goes up, they push him in the back," World Peace said Saturday. "So I'll let you guys do your research from here on out, just monitor how Dwight gets fouled. Is it an intentional foul or not? Because y'all aren’t looking for those things unless it’s brought to your attention. "I'm not complaining. Sometimes he gets hurt. Those are intentional fouls. He's getting hurt. He got hurt when he got pushed in Orlando [last season]. These guys are coming down on his back. He had to get surgery as a result of that. And he missed games. He's not complaining. He's a little upset but he goes out there and plays. And those [fouls] are multiple occasions." Los Angeles Times

World Peace, who has been suspended by the league 11 times since 2003, laid out why he shouldn't be blamed for his latest transgression. And perhaps many of them too. "I came to the NBA in '99. I started watching NBA basketball, like, in '95. The Knicks, Miami, I was a fan of those type of playoff series that took place in the NBA on TV and I wanted to play in that atmosphere," World Peace said. "So as a young kid I had to make a decision: I'm not going to be scared to play in that type of game. That's my mind frame. You look at [Michael] Jordan against Detroit, Jordan had to grow. They were bullying him. so I'm like, 'OK, that's never going to happen to me. When I get to the league, I dare somebody from, like, the Detroit Pistons to try to bully me.' "I was in the league when I was a rookie, I remember Alonzo Mourning saying, 'You come in here again, young fella, blahblahblah.' I went in there again. Nineteen years old. Do it." Los Angeles Times

Another attendee noted that the Raptors were one of only three NBA teams without at least two representatives at the conference. Toronto had one. The Brooklyn Nets had six employees accredited. The L.A. Lakers were the only NBA team without a presence. Said San Antonio Spurs GM R.C. Buford: “If we can keep the Lakers locked out, that’s fine with us.” Toronto Star

March 2, 2013 | 04:22 PM ET Update

With center/forward Jason Smith sidelined for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury, the New Orleans Hornets are expected to sign NBA Development League center-forward Henry Sims to a 10-day contract on Sunday, a league source confirmed. Sims, 6 feet 10, 245 pounds, played at Georgetown last season but went undrafted in the 2012 NBA Draft. In 36 games with the Erie Bayhawks in the NBA Development league this season, Smith averaged 17.1 points and 9.0 rebounds. Sims played in the 2012 NBA Summer League with the Chicago Bulls. He signed with the New York Knicks, but was released at the end of the preseason. New Orleans Times-Picayune

Net Daily: #Nets unlikely to sign anyone in near term. Look for late season pick-up of prospect who they can sign and get rights to for next season. Twitter @NetsDaily

The veteran power forward, who has been around the team almost the entire season in what was termed an undefined management role, brings the Heat back to the NBA maximum of 15 players. At 40, Howard becomes the oldest player to play for the Heat in the franchise's 25 seasons. "Juwan is a key part of the championship culture here in Miami," Heat President Pat Riley said in a statement. "He is essential to this team and can still play this game at a high level in some of our biggest games yet to come. He has a unique veteran savvy and will provide leadership and experience to our team." Chicago Tribune

And with no requirement to win every game, Hunter was afforded the opportunity to mix and match players until he could find consistency in effort. He used Michael Beasley as a recent example. "I don't give [Beasley] more of a leash because of his skill level," Hunter said. "I hold him to the same standards, especially defensively. I know offensively we're all going to make mistakes. We're going to sometimes force shots or not make the right play. I can live with that. "My thing with Mike has always been defensively. When you're engaged defensively, then I don't worry about you offensively because I know if he's engaged, he'll do some things. But when he's two or three steps slow and not recognizing a rotation or a coverage, then it's hard and it puts a strain on everybody." Bright Side of the Sun

Royce White is making the 34-hour drive in an RV because of his anxiety issues to play this one game for the Vipers and then turning around and making the 34-hour drive right back. Word in Vipers' circles is that his nickname is now "Winnebago." Word also is that he has multiple drivers to keep the RV rolling but that it's still, basically, a week-long adventure to play one minor-league game. Sulia

“None of us knew what we were going to do,” James said. “We just played the music, and when it was time to say go, we just went. It was a lot of fun. We did three different edits, but it took us just 30 minutes to complete it all.” The result? “I like who we are as a team, on the floor and off the floor,” James said. “It shows who we really are, that video. As close as we are in that video, that’s as close as we are on the floor…. With everything that goes on with our team from the outside, we have to figure out ways to keep ourselves sane, and have fun.” Favorite part? “Shane in the background the whole time in the horsetronaut outfit,” James said. “That was hilarious. And also Bird starting it all off, he’s an unbelievable character. He needs to be a character in a cartoon.” Palm Beach Post

March 2, 2013 | 08:43 AM ET Update

The Miami Heat are strongly considering signing 40-year-old forward Juwan Howard, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. After playing the past two years with the Heat, Howard has remained unsigned this season. He has stayed in shape and has been working out throughout the season. Yahoo! Sports

Unable to consummate a contract buyout with the Utah Jazz by Friday night’s deadline, guard Raja Bell is still aiming to find a team that he can help push toward the playoffs in the coming weeks, even if it then means sitting out the postseason, agent Herb Rudoy told RealGM. “He is in fabulous shape and ready to play again,” Rudoy said. To be eligible for the playoffs after a buyout, Bell had to reach agreement before the Friday deadline. The Jazz and Bell had a settlement in place that rested on the 36-year-old’s ability to find a deal elsewhere to make up the difference in salary, because Bell didn't want to lose money in the potential buyout. RealGM

Sources say Milwaukee, however, was not willing to put Ellis or Ilyasova into the deal. Which left the Hawks with two choices: Trade Smith to Milwaukee for a package featuring Beno Udrih's expiring contract paired with forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute … or keep Smith beyond the deadline and risk seeing him walk away from Atlanta in the summertime without compensation. ESPN.com

What has this last month has been like for you with your name showing up in trade speculation on pretty much a daily basis? JJ Redick: I'm a basketball junkie. I don't like attention on myself, to be honest with you, but I like reading ESPN. I like reading HoopsHype. I like checking box scores. But it was tough because it was all hypotheticals. And I don't like dealing with hypotheticals and uncertainty and all that stuff. To me it was almost a sense of relief when the deadline (arrived). Regardless of where I was after the deadline, I felt like I could make the most of it. ESPN.com

When San Antonio, after months of trying, couldn't find a workable DeJuan Blair deal before last week's trade deadline, sources close to the situation say that Blair had interest in negotiating a buyout before Friday's deadline for playoff eligibility, since it's clear that neither Blair nor the Spurs have any interest in continuing the relationship beyond next season. ESPN.com

The Lakers' Metta World Peace threw an elbow Monday at Kenneth Faried. It was determined, later in the week, to be a flagrant two foul. "I saw it on film, I thought it was, whatever the word is, premeditated," Karl said. "I don't know if it was flagrant enough to be a 2." Denver Post

The NBA seemed to agree, retroactively assessing World Peace a flagrant-2 foul Thursday. If the league needed more evidence, it could always check with Faried. "I still have a scar in my mouth," Faried said. "When I eat, it still burns." Los Angeles Times

Jason Kidd's days as a starter may be over. Mike Woodson removed the struggling veteran from the starting lineup prior to last night's 96-88 victory over the Washington Wizards and made Kidd the back-up point guard, the role Kidd expected to play when he signed a three year contract last July. Woodson did not say the move is permanent but considering that Kidd had scored a total of 30 points in 11 games last month, the Knicks can't survive without getting more production from the shooting guard position. "I didn't come in this league as a scorer," Kidd joked, "and it doesn't' look like I'm going to leave as a scorer." New York Daily News

LeBron James wonders what all the commotion is about He said he's been dunking in warmups since he was in Cleveland “I did it in Cleveland,’’ James said. “You guys (the media) didn’t pay attention because it was a small market.’’ Sulia

According to multiple sources asked throughout the season, Bynum was seen by four doctors before the trade. The MRI reports that were looked at showed that he had some cartilage issues, all the sources said, but all four doctors were comfortable signing off that he would be able to play basketball for the team this season, after playing in 60 of 66 games for the Lakers last season with the lockout-shortened schedule. Philadelphia Inquirer

Unlike many of today's top players, McLemore was not showered with adulation or anointed a future star from the time he was an adolescent. Rather than obsess over national player rankings, phenom camp invitations or third-party handlers, McLemore focused on more fundamental concerns amid one of the poorest urban communities in Missouri: finding food. Says McLemore: "It's hard to play basketball when nothing is inside of you." USA Today Sports

McLemore says on any given night as many as 10 relatives, including siblings, nieces and a nephew, would sleep inside his home, which is smaller than 600 square feet. The home's only bed had three legs, with the other corner supported by a pile of books. His home, McLemore says, was filled with love but little else. He remembers his mother working nights for a cleaning staff near downtown Busch Stadium. He remembers older brother Keith cycling through odd jobs fixing bikes, trying to make money to support the family. USA Today Sports

"It's a hard feeling — just starve," McLemore says. "Dang, what are we going to do? Dang, how are we going to eat? How are we going to put food on the table?" McLemore and younger brother Kevin would disperse throughout the neighborhood to cut grass, move trash, clean cars, fix motor scooters and bikes, anything that would yield a few dollars for hot dogs or Hot Pockets. USA Today Sports

"You get those hunger pains," McLemore said. "I am so hungry. We don't have any food. What are we going to eat? Your stomach hurts. Then you get so upset and mad, like, no food. You start having tantrums and don't want to do anything. You get mad at everybody because you don't have any food. That's what happens when you don't eat. You are so sluggish. It's just bad, man." USA Today Sports

McLemore says the only meals he sometimes had were the free ones at school. His mother, he recalled, sometimes made the difficult decision to sell food stamps in order to pay bills. "Sometimes we would not have food so we could keep our lights on and have hot water," he says. "She had to sacrifice for that." USA Today Sports

McLemore's financial situation got worse in the spring of 2008. He was home with younger brother Kevin when police knocked on the door looking for his older brother Keith Scott, who was sleeping. On April 27, 2008, according to St. Louis court records, Scott had unlawfully entered a home possessed by Hezekiah Smith with the intent to rob Smith of drugs and money. Smith, who had a dispute with a friend of Scott's, confronted Scott. They struggled over Scott's gun and Smith was shot, suffering "serious physical injury." Scott admitted to entering the home and the shooting, according to court records. Then at 9:45 p.m. on May 4, 2008, according to court records, Scott and another man fired approximately 12 shots at a vehicle driven by Jason Staats, with three shots hitting the vehicle. Scott admitted shooting at the vehicle, according to court records. USA Today Sports

At times, McLemore has cried. At times, he has wrestled with conflicting emotions over the fact that his brother's own actions caused his imprisonment. "When he knew he did something wrong and I know he did it, I'd be like, 'You can't be doing that, you're the man of the house,' " McLemore says. " 'You've got your younger brothers and are not ready to step up. You keep making these little mistakes.' "But when he was locked up, several people got killed in the neighborhood. Shots were fired. Maybe it was a wake-up call for him. So many murders in the neighborhood. So much stuff was happening. It was a good thing he was not out there. It could have been worse." USA Today Sports

Brown, now Southern Methodist's first-year coach, spent nearly eight weeks at Kansas last season, watching countless practices and getting to know McLemore and meeting his family. During home games, Brown relished the chance to sit with McLemore and answer any questions the teenager had about basketball or life. "He loves life," Self says. "He loves getting up and going to class. He loves the camaraderie with his fellow students. He loves signing autographs. He loves taking pictures with fans. He loves it all. He is one of those kids who has enjoyed everything. The concern is that it will start to become overwhelming to him. Maybe it has started a little bit, I don't know if it really has or not. But I have not seen a kid enjoy being a college student much more than him." USA Today Sports

Ryan Harrow is in the toughest position. He's already transferred once, and he's nowhere near NBA ready and seems to have lost his status as a likely future pro. If he stays, he stands little chance of playing major minutes behind the Harrison twins, especially if Goodwin opts to stay in school. If Cal does push Harrow out the door early, he risks hurting the "player first" reputation he has cultivated in his time at Kentucky. He has a tendency to play a short bench which could complicate things for him if he doesn't push players out, but having a team with that many future pros on it has been done before at Kentucky. The Untouchables in 1996 had 9 future pros and depending on who stays next season's Cats could challenge that. NBADraft.net

It's probably too close to call this far out, but the early sense from those in the USA Basketball know give Celtics coach Doc Rivers some legit hope of edging out Spurs counterpart Gregg Popovich if, as it increasingly appears, USAB executive director Jerry Colangelo is forced to look for a successor to Mike Krzyzewski this summer. ESPN.com

I continue to believe that Popovich, if you polled USAB's stars, would be as popular or maybe even more popular than Rivers, who is generally regarded as the game's ultimate players' coach. Pop really should be the favorite, too, if we're going to talk about résumés. Yet skepticism around the league persists about Colangelo and Popovich forming the sort of tight-knit tag team in charge that Colangelo and Coach K formed. That would appear to give Rivers -- whose own résumé and respect level within USAB circles stand out plenty -- an opening. ESPN.com

Hollinger said that he has had little opportunity to work with the players who are currently on the team, because he showed up in the middle of the season and was initially focused on player transactions. “It was a little hard to jump in and start making demands or whatever,” he said. “So I think our approach has probably been a little cautious. There hasn’t been a lot of opportunity to implement deep analytic concepts at this point.” New York Times

It's nice to be back at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. This year's model is the seventh edition of a conference that began in 2006 as a small gathering of likeminded folks eager to share cutting-edge analysis that would sharpen their understanding of sports, and has since exploded into a major annual industry event. Sloan 2013 boasts more than 2,700 paid attendees, representatives from more than 90 pro teams across six different sports (including 29 of 30 NBA teams; the Los Angeles Lakers, alone, appear to be unrepresented), a slew of big-name panelists and big-money sponsorship from the likes of Under Armour, StubHub and primary underwriter ESPN, spread throughout the sprawling Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Yahoo! Sports

SportVU positions six special video cameras above the basketball court at different angles to capture, record and store tons of in-game information — player movement, referee movement, ball movement; where, how and how fast players are running; where, how and how fast passes are thrown; etc. Recording all that movement in high definition at 25 frames per second, every second, for an entire game makes for an awful lot of data points — 1 million individual records per game, in fact, according to STATS' Brian Kopp. That leaves the 15 teams that have purchased the cameras looking for an analytical edge — the New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Minnesota Timberwolves, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Dallas Mavericks and Cleveland Cavaliers — holding onto more information than they know what to do with. Yahoo! Sports

"We need better people not at doing the stats, necessarily, but at communicating the stats — at building the bridges," said Kirk Goldsberry, who co-wrote a paper with behavioral analyst Eric Weiss that uses the SportVU data to examine interior defense, long one of the under-explored elements in analytical work, during a late Friday panel. Yahoo! Sports

Hollinger described the technology as a potential game-changer in the analytics arms race. Still, such a crushing amount of data is useless without sophisticated analytic techniques, he said, which makes him wary of its immediate utility. “It’s such a revolution that it presents its own challenges,” he said. “The biggest issue is the tsunami of data that they are going to unleash. There’s a lot of great information in there, somewhere, but the ability to process it — that’s the challenge.” New York Times

Magic Johnson is giving LeBron James a million reasons to consider the slam dunk contest. The Hall of Famer says Friday during ESPN's pregame show that he will put up $1 million if James finally enters the marquee event of All-Star Saturday night. James has always refused to enter the contest, but he's recently been putting on a dunking show before Miami's games, reigniting interest in seeing him take part. Johnson says: "Please LeBron, get in the dunk contest. I'm going to put up a million dollars. A million dollars to LeBron. Please get in the dunk contest. I go every year. I want to see you out there. A million to the winner." Boston Herald

Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph said he really enjoyed the Heat's "Harlem Shake'' video: "Man, it's funny. It's the funniest thing I've seen in a long time,'' Randolph said. "LeBron's got a lot of characteristics. He probably came up with that. It's good camaraderie and it's something good for the team. I enjoyed it.'' Sulia

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