HoopsHype rumors

March 3, 2013 | 07:16 PM ET Update

Alex Kennedy: Several NBA teams have inquired about FA Eddy Curry. In China, Curry averaged 23 points and 10.1 boards in 29.6 minutes for a playoff team. Twitter @AlexKennedyNBA

LeBron James apparently is still mulling Magic Johnson's $1 million offer to finally participate in the NBA's dunk contest. James told ESPN's Lisa Salters that, although he hasn't decided on a response to Johnson's offer, he frequently considers entering the dunk contest. "I don't have a response yet," James told Salters prior to the Miami Heat's game against the New York Knicks on Sunday afternoon. James had never taken part in the dunk contest in his 10-year career despite consistently throwing down trophy-worthy slams in warm-ups and games. The three-time league MVP told Salters, however, that he has considered participating. "I think about it every year," James said. ESPN.com

Mike Woodson said he would have a conversation with J.R. Smith after his performance against Miami. J.R. had a crucial turnover late in the game, but it was more so his shot selection that Woodson wants to discuss. Smith was 5-for-18, including 3-for-14 from three. "He’s got to mix it up," Woodson said. "When you’re not making your shots from the three you got to get a little bit closer or try and get to the free throw line. That’s what good scorers do. "He’s learning how to be a scorer. We got to help him because you can’t take 18 shots and 14 shots are threes. That’s a bit much. He’s got to mix it up and try to get to the free throw line." Sulia

Now, he is battling for a rebound there, and he is trying to get his arm. But he has to know, making that motion, what he's doing. You know that if you swing your arm between a guy's legs what you're going to hit. There's no accident here. The officials hit Ibaka with just a Flagrant 1, though, allowing him to stay in the game. He then drew a foul on Griffin, scored on an and-one -- and blocked a late shot by the Thunder. So, you know, good job as always, guys. This one will unquestionably will be reviewed by the league. It would be more of a surprise if he wasn't suspended for this one. CBSSports.com

John Lucas III has kept up with the rehabilitation of Derrick Rose, his former Chicago Bulls teammate and close friend. In Lucas’ mind, Rose could return from his torn ACL as dominant as Adrian Peterson did for the Minnesota Vikings this NFL past season. “I think he might come back better than AP,” Lucas told RealGM. Ultimately, Lucas is hoping for Rose to make a full recovery, both physically and mentally. When Rose does come back, however, Lucas is confident in the 2011 NBA MVP being a better all-around player – with elevated athleticism. RealGM

March 3, 2013 | 05:19 PM ET Update

The Cleveland Cavaliers have waived forward Josh Selby, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts. The Cavaliers roster now stands at 14. NBA.com

The Knicks will sign veteran Kenyon Martin to a second 10-day contract, coach Mike Woodson said on Sunday. Martin, who was signed to provide depth to the Knicks' depleted front line, received a DNP on Friday against the Wizards and has played just five minutes in the first seven days of his 10-day contract. But general manager Glen Grunwald said that he hopes Martin will be with the Knicks for the remainder of the season. That could change if Martin gets hurt or if the Knicks need to use his roster spot for other purposes. ESPN.com

“Absolutely fits into the fabric of our culture,” Erik Spoelstra said. “To be honest, it felt a little bit strange not having him with us. It makes sense, it feels right. And we were also able to do our due diligence through the first half of the season, and keep our flexibility.” Spoelstra noted the additions of Varnado and Chris Andersen since the start of the season. “The bigs that we have fit our personality, shotblockers, high energy, high motor guys,” Spoelstra said. “Juwan gives us the veteran experience, can play two positions, actually three positions, we actually started working him at the ’3′ last season. But it’s more than that with Juwan.” Palm Beach Post

Mikhail Prokhorov has spent time talking with Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire mayor of New York. Like Bloomberg, Prokhorov has media interests and like Bloomberg, he has a personal fortune of more than $10 billion. And now, like Bloomberg, Prokhorov would like to be the mayor of Moscow. NetsDaily

Over the past week and a half, ever since Prokhorov sold his stake in Polyus Gold for $3.6 billion, there have been more than a few hints in the Russian media that the Nets owner is getting ready to run for the mayor of Moscow, or at least the city Duma, or city council. The mayoral election is a year away. Prokhorov has been increasingly critical of the city administration on his blog and in tweets. In the past few months, he has attacked a new Moscow Metro policy prohibiting commuters from buying fewer that five tickets on the city subway and condemned an increase in the city vehicle tax. He's also continued to criticize Vladimir Putin, as the head of the Civic Platform party. Should he decide to run for mayor and win, it would provide him with a national stage for another run at the presidency in 2016. Prokhorov did will in Moscow in the 2012 presidential election. NetsDaily

Ryan Anderson, whose New Orleans Hornets will host the Orlando Magic on Monday night, has added a new hobby since he joined his new team. He’s an app tycoon. Anderson helped fund an app available on the Apple and Android platforms called “Hide It! Head to Head Hidden Object Game,” which was created and developed by Straton Wilhelm, one of Anderson’s best friends. The game launched in mid-December. “I’m just really proud of my buddy, that he really put this thing together,” Anderson said. “This all came from one idea on a piece of paper.” Orlando Sentinel

March 3, 2013 | 12:57 PM ET Update

As expected, New Orleans Hornets announced Sunday they have signed former Georgetown C/F Henry Sims to a 10-day contract to fill the void caused by forward Jason Smith's season-ending shoulder injury. Sims, 6 feet 10, 245 pounds, started 36 games this season for the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League and averaged 17.1 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks in 32.8 minutes per game. Sims was selected as an NBA D-League All-Star last month and is coming off a 21-point, 12- rebound performance against the Maine Red Claws on March 1. New Orleans Times-Picayune

The Cleveland Cavaliers have recalled forward Kevin Jones from the Canton Charge, the Cavaliers exclusively owned and operated NBA Development League team, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts. NBA.com

The Cavs attempted to buy out Casspi's contract, but one theory is that the veteran forward didn't want to forfeit any of the money owed to him. If the Cavs aren't going to save any money, what would be their impetus to buy him out of his deal? Things are not expected to end nicely for 76ers coach Doug Collins. His team is falling out of the East playoff race, and it's taking its toll on the 61-year-old Collins. Some observers think his days are numbered as Sixers coach. If he resigns — he'd likely cite health reasons — assistant Michael Curry would likely be elevated to head coach, according to NBA insider Ric Bucher. News-Herald

Rodman, who spent two days with Kim, told ABC he bonded with the North Korean over their mutual love of basketball. "I love him," Rodman said. "The guy's awesome. He was so honest." Rodman dodged repeated questions from This Week host George Stephanopoulos about North Korea's poor human rights records, including political prison camps and threats to attack the United States. At one point, Rodman said, "this is all politics, right?" and attributed many of North Korea's problems to Kim's youth and the legacy of his father. Kim "loves power," Rodman said. "He loves control." USA Today Sports

Rodman claims Kim is a human being, “a good guy” and a victim of the environment he grew up in. So excuse the repression, the mass starvation and the hundreds of thousands kept in gulags? Rodman also chose his finest dollar bill jacket and yellow track pants for the occasion. The Big Lead

March 3, 2013 | 09:39 AM ET Update

UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad played his last game in Pauley Pavilion on Saturday night in a 74-69 victory against No. 11 Arizona, Bruins coach Ben Howland said after the game. Muhammad is a projected NBA lottery pick and it long has been assumed he'd leave college after one season, but Howland confirmed the obvious after his team moved back into a tie for first place in the Pac-12 Conference. The Bruins finish the season with road games next week at Washington State and Washington, meaning Saturday was the last home game for UCLA. "That was his last game in Pauley, no doubt about it," Howland said. ESPN.com

Muhammad scored his season average of 18 points in his home swan song, including the game-sealing free throws with nine seconds to play. He said he briefly thought about those being his last moments in Pauley, but wasn't ready to fully commit to entering the NBA draft. "It's still a long season of basketball," Muhammad said. "We don't know yet. I kind of thought about it. I just thought about the big win we're going to have and how important this win was for us against Arizona." ESPN.com

But the dramatic drop from 11 first-round picks traded two years ago to just one this year illustrates the impact of the escalating luxury taxes that will take effect next year. Players making less are suddenly worth more. Much more. “Teams right now are scared of money,” one league executive said recently. Akron Beacon Journal

Corey Maggette was probably being a little sarcastic when he thanked Pistons coach Lawrence Frank for saving his "body this year." But after riding the Pistons' bench for most of this season, Maggette said he definitely wants to play next season. "Right now I've had a full year recovering and working with (strength and conditioning coach Arnie Kander)," he told the Free Press on Friday. "We'll see what happens." Detroit Free Press

Maggette even raised the possibility of resuming the role with the Pistons next season. "Another option still is for me to be a veteran for these guys and come back here another year," he said. "That's another possibility because we have a lot of young talent here and still need a veteran to talk to, and I know I've gained the respect of those guys and I'll be able to do that. "We'll see what happens after that." Detroit Free Press

Pistons officials also insist there is still a market for Maggette around the league, which makes his dismissal of a possible buyout of the rest of his deal to go sign with another team kind of eye-opening. Detroit Free Press

All those really nice things you said when the Wolves were wooing you last summer, was all that sincere and genuine? Nicolas Batum: Of course, I was interested by the Wolves. The way they played last year was nice. Enough people wanted to be there and play with them because Rubio was good, Kevin Love was an All-Star, Pekovic ... all those guys. And Coach Adelman, I would have liked him as a coach. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“We’ve got a great coach,” Noah said as he began to smile and let out a laugh and you know one of those subtle, understated zingers was coming. “But he doesn’t understand the whole rest thing yet I don’t think. But it’s all good. We all want to win. It’s good. Bulls.com

“I don’t have a choice,” Noah said about the way he plays. “This is my job and this is my life. Everything is built around this. There’s nothing better right now than winning basketball games. It’s been an up-and-down year, but I really feel like when we’re playing our best, we can beat a lot of people. The potential is definitely there. I think when we’re playing confident and we’re playing together, I think we can make some noise and there’s no better feeling than doing that in the playoffs, “It doesn’t matter [what others say]. It really doesn’t matter,” added Noah. “I know our building is always packed and they show us a lot of love in Chicago. It’s up and down. But I know that when we’re playing good basketball, we’re tough to beat. We can beat anybody. We’re tough to beat.” Bulls.com

White cites Twitter and other social media "as the best census we could have," and notes that many people use social media to attack people they don't know, including him. "These are people who are among us," he said. "I've had people tweet me heinous stuff, and then I see on their profile that they're a 'counselor.' These are people who run our schools and work with kids. We want to focus on the guy who might walk into this hotel lobby and shoot everybody, instead of the millions of young black men who will kill each other in our communities." Minneapolis Star-Tribune

White is planning a nationwide bus tour to promote awareness of disorders. He probably never will receive more attention than he has through basketball, whether it was becoming a national story when Frank drove him to NCAA tournament games or whether it was his public debate with the Rockets. "I can fly," he said. "I always could fly. But flying affects me in a negative way. There is a cost." Minneapolis Star-Tribune

He said he is happy with what became a contentious public negotiation process with the Rockets, although he still insists every player should be represented by an independent doctor. "We've forced each other's hands," he said. "It wasn't willing. It wasn't voluntary. Sometimes that's what's needed. I think as I was able to progress the league in terms of putting them on notice of mental health, I still feel like they were just forced to do this and the attention that needs to be paid really isn't there, even still. "It isn't their fault. It's a societal thing. It's our country. Our government is to blame. The government should impose mental health as an emphasis. And if they don't, why would businesses make it an emphasis? If the government didn't tell you you had to have exit signs on the building, you wouldn't." Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"Royce has to realize that this is a business," said Doug West, the former Timberwolves star who's an assistant coach for the Vipers. "Whether in the D League or up above, these guys are in it to win, to get paid and to make a living. You have to take the game serious. You have to put the time in. "He's had a lot of stuff going on with him for the last four months. Now he's playing, but he needs to take the next step. He's the 16th pick in the draft and at some point you have to play to that level. He has to get himself into shape." Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Could the Thunder be walking a playoff tightrope without the dynamic talent that Kerr called "probably its best one-on-one player"? "A lot of people say that," Durant said. "I don't want to be arrogant or nothing, but I think I can fill that void. I can put the ball in the basket. That's what I was born to do. "Some nights they need me to do that, some nights we don't need me to do that. But when the time comes, Coach [Scott Brooks] is going to call my number and I've been practicing my whole life to come through. So we'll see what happens." Los Angeles Times

But head coach Doc Rivers stressed patience with Crawford, providing encouragement for the 24-year-old guard as he continues to adjust to his new Boston surroundings. "That’s fine by me," Rivers said of Crawford looking for his shot. "I want him to be aggressive. Again, I think Jordan, [observers are] looking for him to make a bad offensive play. Paul [Pierce] made one; Kevin [Garnett] made one. Offensive players are going to make a couple bad offensive plays. I thought he made far more good ones than that. I want him to stay aggressive. I thought that [first-quarter drive] could have been a foul, he just went into the trees and couldn’t get out. I don’t want to take away what he can do, that’s very important." ESPN.com

Without a doubt, Jeff Green could put together the best highlight package of any Celtic. Just ask him. “Of course,” Green said. “There’s nobody to compare. You can’t compare anybody on this team to me in that category.” “I can’t compete with Jeff,” Celtics captain Paul Pierce admitted. No one else can slash to the basket and dunk with such authority. “That’s my style of play, get in the open floor and make plays,” he said. Worcester Telegram & Gazette

James has been catching some flak for coming up with the idea with Wade for the “Harlem Shake” video, but it’s mild. Winning does change everything. He is a much different player now than the one who seemed to withdraw in the 2011 Finals collapse against Dallas. All that weight is gone. “I don’t know,” he said. “I try to come into the season better than I was the year before and I think I’ve done that throughout my career. I don’t like to come back as the same player I was before because I feel like I’m cheating my teammates. So with the championship, it was something I had worked for for a long time. But for me, I wasn’t satisfied with winning one and being content, and saying, ‘OK, I got this title and I can continue to be the same player I was last year.’ I dug in deeper and said, ‘How can I improve myself to help this team?’ New York Daily News

It has been interesting to watch Lillard this season. Not since Roy has a Blazers rookie garnered so much attention, so much hype throughout a season. And like it was with Roy, not once have I seen it go to Lillard's head. He has been the same well-mannered, humble kid who knocked the socks off owner Paul Allen that early June day during his workout. The money, the fame, the expectations - none of it has penetrated him. “When you keep the same circle of people around you, you tend to do the same things,’’ Lillard said. “My family and the friends around me, they want the best for me, so they encourage me to do what I’ve always done. I mean, I do the same stuff I always have. I haven’t changed.’’ Oregonian

When Roy was a rookie, he was the same way - family oriented, never caught up in the money, women and partying that can lure many in the NBA. How did he do it? “My biggest thing was I was focused,’’ Roy said. “And I always put my family first. I loved being around my family. And staying out of those positions are really the only way you can prevent them, so I just kind of stayed away from certain things. And then, I just had a determination to win. When you are giving 100 percent on the floor, for me, I’m kind of too tired to do anything else.’’ Oregonian

The Trail Blazers called a timeout 5:39 into the game and the jumbo-tron camera swooped in on Roy and suddenly you heard screaming and applauses. It was a standing ovation. The three-time All-Star was all smiles as he waved his hands in a state of shock. “I had a feeling something like that might happen but I didn't think they would do that so early in the game,” Roy told CSNNW.com. “I was completely shocked. I didn't know what to do so I just waved.” CSNNW.com

The first time Paul Pierce’s neck injury revealed itself to the public was Feb. 22 in Phoenix, when the pain was so strong that Pierce left the game against the Suns. Pierce went to the sideline with a stinger and a grimace. He did return, though. And then this past week, he acknowledged that he has actually been playing in pain for the better part of two months and he expects that pain to linger the rest of the season. “I’m about as healthy as I’m probably going to be in the regular season right now,” Pierce said. According to guard Courtney Lee, Pierce has a standing offer from coach Doc Rivers to sit out a game if he needs it, but, of course, Pierce has continually declined that offer. Boston Globe

But much of the world saw him as a maverick, a rich man who acted like one of the guys. "I saw him walking in with these jeans on," Johnson recalled of their first meeting. "I said, 'This man's got all this money?'" This unpretentious style helped Buss, divorced and known as a playboy, forge close relationships with many of his players. After games, he transformed the Forum's press lounge into a late-night party spot, entertaining athletes, reporters and young women as announcer Chick Hearn poured drinks at the bar. Buss said: "Just because I'm a public figure doesn't mean I don't get to live my life the way I want." Los Angeles Times

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