HoopsHype rumors

April 5, 2013 | 08:03 PM ET Update

Marc Berman: Bernard King finally elected to the Hall of Fame, according to source. Deserved it a while ago. Twitter @NYPost_Berman

The announcements will become official Monday at the Final Four in Atlanta. Ironically, King lives in Atlanta and attended the Knicks game Wednesday. King played from 1982-87 with the Knicks and his career was shortened by knee trouble. He was disappointed in recent years about being passed over for the Hall. His name came up this week when Carmelo Anthony nearly acheived his feat of posting back-to-back 50-point games. King did that during the 1984-85 season. King averaged 26.5 points during his Knicks career. New York Post

Al Ross, Haywood's agent in the early 1970s when he sued the NBA and won the right by the Supreme Court to enter as an underclassmen out of college, confirmed Haywood's election on Friday to FOX Sports Florida. The forward will be enshrined Sept. 8 in Springfield, Mass. "It's one of the most important things ever (in NBA history),'' Ross said of Haywood's case. "It opened the door for all these superstars like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson to enter the NBA.'' FOXSports Florida

It was decided on March 1, 1971, by a 7-2 vote by the Supreme Court that Haywood was eligible to play. That has paved the way for countless stars to enter the NBA before their college eligibility expired. The attorney representing the NBA in the Haywood case was David Stern. He later became NBA Commissioner and will leave office next February. "Isn't that ironic?'' Ross said of Haywood getting into the Hall of Fame in the last class in which Stern is the commissioner. FOXSports Florida

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have assigned center Aron Baynes to the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League. Baynes, who will be making his fifth stint with the Toros this season, has appeared in nine games with Austin, averaging 12.2 points and 8.0 rebounds in 25.4 minutes. NBA.com

If not for the Heat's late-season "maintenance" program, LeBron James might have an opportunity to do what no NBA player has ever done before, being named Player of the Month every month of the season. The Heat forward on Friday was named NBA Player of the Month for March, the fifth time receiving the nod in as any months this season. The league also hands out an award for the truncated month of April. South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant was named Western Conference Players of the Month for March. In March, James helped the Heat to a league-best 17-1 record, averaging 25.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 7.4 assists while shooting 53 percent from the field. South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The Toronto Raptors’ Jonas Valanciunas and the Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard today were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month, respectively, for games played in March. Valanciunas ranked first among Eastern Conference rookies in rebounds (7.3 rpg), blocks (1.07 bpg), and field goal percentage (.620). He also ranked second in free throw percentage (.822) and fourth in scoring (11.4 ppg), reaching double figures in points in 11 of his last 12 games (March 6-31). Valanciunas is one of only two rookies (New Orleans’ Anthony Davis) in the NBA averaging at least 8.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and shooting 50 percent from the floor this season. CSNNW.com

The Clippers' franchise, dating to their inception as the Buffalo Braves in 1970, has never won a division title. But the team's next win, or a loss by the Golden State Warriors, will give the Clippers their first Pacific Division championship. It's a moment Griffin is looking forward to, but he hopes the team doesn't hang a banner commemorating the occasion in the same rafters that hold the Los Angeles Lakers' 16 NBA championship banners. ESPN.com

"I kind of have bigger goals than that for the team," Griffin said. "I think the team has bigger goals than that. We expected to win the division. We didn't come into this season thinking, 'Oh, it would be great if we could win the division.' We expected it. It's something to be proud of and maybe there's a banner that goes up (in the training facility), but it's not something that needs to go up in Staples [Center], and we don't need to hang our hat on that." ESPN.com

An MRI exam today revealed that Denver Nuggets F Danilo Gallinari suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee during Thursday night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks. The MRI showed no signs of other ligament or meniscus damage. He will miss the remainder of the 2012-13 season. Gallinari, 24, averaged 16.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 71 games this season. NBA.com

Deshaun Thomas, a junior on the Ohio State men’s basketball team, has elected to forgo his senior season of eligibility to enter the 2013 National Basketball Association Draft. "My three years at Ohio State have been the best years of my life,” Thomas said. “I have grown tremendously as an individual and as a basketball player. I intend to return to finish my degree, but I believe that now is the best opportunity to pursue my dream and begin my career as a professional basketball player. I will always be a Buckeye and am blessed to be a part of the Ohio State University family." Ohio State Buckeyes

There are a few scouts who are worried that Len might turn out to be another Nikoloz Tskitishvili, a 7-footer who was the fifth overall pick of the Denver Nuggets in 2002 and averaged less than three points and two rebounds in a 172-game career. Baltimore Sun

When I mentioned the name Darko Milicic, who was infamously picked by the Detroit Pistons behind LeBron James and ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in 2003, a scout who played in the league said, “Darko didn’t want to play basketball. You can see Alex does.” Baltimore Sun

Daryl Morey: Coach McHale 4 Coach of the Year! He has the most inexperienced tm ever on brink of West Playoffs! Also,6th youngest tm ever 2make playoffs Twitter @dmorey

Charles Barkley made an appearance on “Conan” on Thursday night and covered a wide range of topics. Conan O’Brien had Sir Charles talking about everything from his personal hygiene to the prospect of him working as a general manager in the NBA in the near future. Conan also brought up how Barkley has been critical of Michael Jordan’s looks in the past, and Charles was happy to elaborate. “People tell me he’s good looking,” Barkley said. “First of all, he’s not good looking. He’s not. Every man who’s got $500 million is good looking. But seriously, if he was a plumber people wouldn’t be saying he’s good looking.” Larry Brown Sports

Pau Gasol: 19 years ago, Kurt Cobain left us. "Come as you are" is one of my favorite songs that I still listen to often. youtube.com/watch?v=vabnZ9… Twitter @paugasol

April 5, 2013 | 02:57 PM ET Update

To say Williams had a childhood would be using the term loosely. He grew up fast, faster than he should have had to, but he faced circumstances that left him with no choice but to become the man of the house at an early age. Williams uses the word “father” very specifically. He has no memories of Edgar, who served time in prison and was murdered the day he was released. Williams was only a child. “I don't remember anything,” Williams said. “The only image I really have is when he was in jail and I was taking him some shoes with my mom for him to have. I can't tell you any stories of, 'Oh I remember this one time playing at the park.' I've always in the past tried to remember – it’s the hardest thing to do. You can't have a memory of something that you don't think ever happened. So to me, I didn't have a father. I had a dad, I had somebody that birthed me. But it's just blank.” CSNNE.com

Williams never asked his relatives about his father. He says he doesn’t want to know. “To me, I had a mother. My mother had me on her own,” he said. “I don't have one memory of my father and the only thing I know of is from pictures. I never asked stories from my mom, I never asked stories from my uncles on his side of the family. I don't want to know stories. I was forced to grow up fast, so it is what it is. I never had a father, I had a dad. I call my college coach more of my father than my real father." CSNNE.com

But six years after his father’s murder, Williams suffered another loss. His grandmother fell ill with cancer and passed away in his Seattle, Wa. home when he was 12. “My grandma played the big role because I called her 'The Queen,’” Williams said. “She was definitely the queen of the family and the warden at the same time. She was the warden because she had no problem calling you ugly, she had no problem talking about you, then she had no problem, in the same breath, giving you her last five dollars.” Williams stayed strong, assuming a large responsibility for a child his age. At 13, he began working to help financially. Whether it was cutting grass or selling shoes, he found ways to assist in supporting his family. “I’ve been paying the bills for 12 years now,” Williams, 25, says. CSNNE.com

While stepping into the role of man of the house, Williams was faced with another grown-up decision as a young teenager. He had spent time at the home of his friend Marcus Williams and was taken aback by it. There was a guest bedroom, a spare bedroom, and a piano room. Even their dog was friendly. “I had never seen anything like this,” he recounted. Williams didn’t want to leave. He asked his mother if he could move in – she said no. But when the seventh grader pointed out the move could help his future, she agreed. He still returned home on the weekends. “With Terrence, unfortunately for him it was one of those situations where it was really necessary,” said Williams’ Rainier Beach High School basketball coach, Mike Bethea. “Marcus' mom was like a second mom for him and Marcus was like a brother. In order for him to make it, she was going to hold him really accountable and kind of like humble him to where, 'You're the kid and I'm the adult.' It was one of those things where if you let him, Terrence would run over you and he couldn't do it with Marcus' mom." CSNNE.com

Williams relocated more than 2,300 miles from home to become a Louisville Cardinal. The plan had been for his best friend, Roland Akers, to move to Kentucky with him during his sophomore year. Akers had been there every step of the way and the two wanted to enjoy the next phase of Williams' career together. Their childhood dream was gone in an instant. "I think the people he was with were drinking and he was in a car," said Williams. "They were by his house and they got into an accident and hit a pole and he died instantly. I had just talked to him and I told him to go home. He was like alright, and I got a call four hours later and I was told that he passed." CSNNE.com

Williams' tattoos, which he has lost count of by now, depict the story of his life and serve as constant reminders to keep on pushing. "I have to prove everything," he said matter-of-factly. "What have I proved? Nothing. I just proved I can wear number 55 and some funny looking shoes. I feel like I’m starting over. I feel like I’m turning 21 again on Draft Night and just getting drafted. To me, to be honest, I feel like I have to prove everything. To me, in my mind, I’m knocking down my shot consistently but I want the world to see that. I want the world to see that he’s improved on his shot, that he can handle the ball. "Until then, there’s a lot to prove." CSNNE.com

Pau Gasol is back to form. His first two games back, Gasol averaged just 5.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 21.5 minutes per game on 27.7 percent shooting. The Lakers went 0-2. But his last four have looked like shades of the guy who was a four-time All-Star. In those four games Gasol is averaging 13.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 34 minutes per game on 54.2 percent shooting. L.A. went 3-1. "After six games being back, my timing, my legs, my conditioning is getting back and getting better," Gasol said Thursday. "So, hopefully it will continue to be that way. Everything is flowing nicely, so let's see if we keep it up." Sulia

Do you have any phobias? Russell Westbrook: Yeah, like, hair s---. I don't like that. Wait, what do you mean? Like, you hate when there's hair lying around your place? Russell Westbrook: Naw, there ain't no hair at my place, I promise you that. But, you know, if there's hair around, I can't handle that. If I find somebody's hair laying on me, I'll lose it. ESPN.com

Burke's virtuoso performance against Kansas in the second half may have been the best single-game performance by a player this season, and now many NBA GMs and scouts have him ranked as the second-best point guard in the draft after Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart. Burke will have to go head to head against our No. 3-rated point guard prospect on Saturday. Can he score over the length of the Syracuse zone? Two more great performances by Burke could seal his spot in the top seven picks. ESPN.com

Miami Heat forward Shane Battier, who has played several pickup basketball games with women over the years, predicts that the NBA is not far away from having its first female player. "There's no doubt that in our lifetime, there will be a woman NBA player," Battier told ESPN.com after Thursday's Heat practice at AmericanAirlines Arena. ESPN.com

In terms of the first woman to play in the NBA, is Griner the one? "I don't know if it's Griner or if it's someone who is 5 years old right now," Battier said. "But we'll see it. It'll happen in our lifetime. Just the law of averages." When asked what type of player that breakthrough athlete might be, Battier said it likely would be a quick, athletic female guard rather than a taller player such as Griner. Battier pointed to his own teammate, LeBron James, as a comparison of combined athleticism and strength. "I don't think it would be out of the realm of possibility that [one day] we'll see a female LeBron," Battier said. "You could be the most skilled player in the world that the women's game has ever seen, but that won't cut it in the NBA. She'd have to be a physical specimen." ESPN.com

Tim Hardaway said he got the news Wednesday, that he had fallen short in the final vote for 2013 induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame. He was disappointed, but hardly crushed. "Because I'm going to the Final Four anyway," the former Miami Heat guard joked Friday. South Florida Sun-Sentinel

"I think you should never anticipate going in unless you're Michael Jordan or John Stockton or Karl Malone or someone like that," he said. "I'm happy for everyone who got in." Among those who formally will be named for induction Monday is Gary Payton, who will become the first former Heat player to be enshrined in Springfield. Payton helped the Heat win the 2006 NBA title, also spending the following season with the team. "I'm happy for Gary," Hardaway said. South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Shortly after taking control of the Washington Wizards and Verizon Center in 2010, Ted Leonsis started asking team employees what he figured was an obvious question with an easy answer: Where’s the trophy? But instead of a simple answer, all Leonsis got in return was a lot of puzzled looks, shrugged shoulders and I-don’t-knows. Nobody, it seemed, had any clue as to the whereabouts of the 1978 Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, symbolizing the lone NBA title in Bullets/Wizards franchise history. But then, finally, there was a breakthrough. Someone recalled someone else saying sometime awhile back that Smokey Bowie, the late building manager/head engineer/jack-of-all-trades who had been with the franchise since the old Capital Centre days until passing away a few years ago, had at some point taken it home with him for safekeeping. And sure enough, a carload of team employees dispatched to Bowie’s old house found the trophy — scuffed up, tarnished and dented — at the bottom of a closet. Washington Post

“They bring it in,” Leonsis recalled this week, “and it’s got dings in it, it’s matted, not shiny. My wife [Lynn] is best friends with the woman who runs Tiffany’s in Tysons Corner, so I asked her to look at it, and I said, ‘Look at this – this is what we spend a billion dollars over our lifetime to try to win, and it’s been sitting in someone’s closet. Can you fix it?’ It took about three months, but it came back perfect.” Washington Post

This weekend, the Wizards are hosting a reunion of the 1977-1978 Bullets NBA championship team, with a private cocktail party and dinner Friday night, a Q-and-A session with season-ticket holders prior to Saturday night’s game against Indiana and a halftime ceremony featuring the unveiling of a new championship banner. Among the confirmed attendees are Irene Pollin, Abe’s widow; Dick Motta, coach of the championship Bullets; general manager Bob Ferry; and at least 10 players from that team, including 100 percent of the acclaimed frontcourt of Bobby Dandridge, Elvin Hayes and Wes Unseld. Fans in attendance will receive a replica of the 1978 championship ring. Washington Post

The blank-stare-inducing tale comes to us from David Cotey of Greenfield, Wisc., Patch, who informs us that a 20-year-old woman called Greenfield police last Friday to report that "her 19- and 18-year-old roommates were in a fistfight outside their apartment." What sparked the square-off? Apparently, the Milwaukee Bucks' 113-103 home win over the Los Angeles Lakers (emphasis mine): When a police officer arrived, he saw two shirtless teenagers facing each other with fists raised and ready to fight. The officer ordered them to cease, but they simultaneously lunged at each other and exchanged blows. The fight lasted for only a few seconds before the men listened to the officer’s demands to end the fighting. The woman told police the three of them and a fourth roommate, a 30-year-old man, went to the BMO Harris Bradley Center earlier that evening to watch the Milwaukee Bucks take on the Los Angeles Lakers. The 19-year-old man would not boo the Bucks, leading the 30-year-old and 18-year-old, both Lakers fans, to verbally harass him and call him names, the woman told police. Once back at the apartment, the 30-year-old urinated in a garbage can in the 19-year-old’s bedroom. Yahoo! Sports

April 5, 2013 | 11:30 AM ET Update

The Wizards fully expected that Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza would be under contract through the 2013-14 season when they acquired them last June from the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for Rashard Lewis’s expiring contract. Okafor and Ariza have early-termination options in their contracts for next season, but both confirmed this week their intentions to finish out their respective deals. “I don’t know many people who are going to leave money on the table and I’m not one of the people to do that, so most likely,” said Ariza, who is slated to earn $7.7 million next season. Washington Post

They are not equipped with a ton of high-figure assets, but they will have the ability to execute a lopsided trade, taking on extra salary than what they sent out. Teams looking to shed salary will surely touch base with the Trail Blazers inquiring about such. “We'll be very proactive this summer,” Olshey said. “What we've seen this season is that this team isn't very far away. We'll have the flexibility to make a move if we choose to do so or not, but it has to be the right move for the organization.” CSNNW.com

This season’s disappointment is hard for Scola to hide behind his supreme work ethic. He battles physically, runs like a cartoon character and talks with rare maturity in the locker room. “It’s hard,” Scola said. “It’s not what I thought it was going to be. But I can’t say it’s somebody else’s fault. I know I have to be part of the blame. We have to work hard and finish the season strong. “I feel like I’m a big part of the team, and when a team goes this wrong, you can’t say it’s everybody else. If it went well, I’m sure people would talk about how much of an influence I had. So it’s only fair to take that kind of blame when things go wrong. It’s hard. I never thought it was going to be like this, but it’s only a good challenge to change things around and do things the right way.” Arizona Republic

But Scola is not ready to bail on this city. The enjoyment is in the climb, and he wants to be part of a Suns franchise turnaround. “The whole organization, the fans and the city deserve a different situation,” Scola said. “It’s painful for me to see the Phoenix Suns be so successful throughout the years and when I finally get here, we have one of the worst seasons ever. Hopefully, we can change that. I don’t want to be remembered like this.” Arizona Republic

Filathliticos beat Niki Volou 75-70, Adetocunbo had 19 points, 9 rebounds, 1 steal and 2 blocks and Ainge was taking his notes from a courtside seat between the scorers table and the guets’ bench. When the home team lost, its fans start curshing at the winners and also at Ainge. They thought he was someone affiliated with Filathliticos. When they were informed who he was, they started shouting at him that everyone in Volos is a fan of the Lakers. EuroHoops.net

Win or lose at the Final Four, Louisville coach Rick Pitino will leave Atlanta with a greater legacy than the one he arrived with -- he has won induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, a source told ESPNNewYork.com on Friday. Pitino, 60, will be introduced with the rest of the 2013 Hall of Fame class Monday before a national championship game he hopes to be coaching in. His Cardinals will face Wichita State in Saturday's semifinals, and the winner will face the survivor of the Syracuse-Michigan game that follows. ESPN.com

April 5, 2013 | 09:55 AM ET Update

After crumbling to the court and needing to be carried to the locker room, an initial examination of Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari suggested a season-ending tear of the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday night. "The doctor indicated that the ligament was loose," one source told Yahoo! Sports. "They expect that it's a torn ACL." Yahoo! Sports

"The goal is to try to win a championship right now, and then everything else (falls into place). It would be hard for me to win a championship here, or get to the (league) Finals or get to the Western Conference finals and say, 'You know, I'm out.' I don't want to make any guarantees, but if that happens, it would be obvious, (Nuggets executive) Masai (Ujiri) and them would understand my worth to the team and we could come to an agreement. But who knows what is going to happen? I could get hurt tomorrow and then have to opt in." Denver Post

This is speculative, but Iguodala could sign with Denver for about $48 million for four seasons. Some teams might be willing to go into the $50 million range. But a lot of signings are based on other signings, so again, it's speculative. Iguodala turned 29 this season, and after another rewarding experience with Team USA last summer at the London Olympics, he understandably appreciates playing with mature, talented players. Told that he's already won more games this season than in any other in his pro career, Iguodala said: "I'm just really focused in on how we can improve. I don't really think about it at all. We've got to make sure we continue to mature and realize how important it is to keep pushing to get better, never get satisfied, never stop being hungry. I'm getting to the point in my career where I want to keep having success." Denver Post

Allen could be one of the NBA’s most coveted free agents this summer. And this is the time of year when media following teams heading into the offseason with money to spend start probing potential targets. However, Allen continues to make his pending trip to free agency a nonissue and insists his focus is squarely on the Grizzlies making a deep run in the playoffs. “I’m bleeding blue right now, so I haven’t thought past the Grizzlies,” Allen said when asked about the Portland Trail Blazers as a possible destination after a Grizzlies win Wednesday night in the Rose Garden. “I ain’t thinking about free agency. I’m thinking about a championship.” Memphis Commercial Appeal

Allen has made it clear he’d like continue the grit-and-grind movement he gave birth to in Memphis and retire with the Grizzlies. The main question is, how much will the team’s new management value Allen? He will earn $3.3 million this season, the final year of a three-year deal. Allen is sure to have plenty of suitors looking to instantly change a team’s defensive identity and willing to offer more than he earns now. Although Allen tries to deflect free-agency talk, he clearly has criteria. “Being in the right situation, being able to fit, being a piece moving forward in a team’s championship goals just being a priority,” Allen said. “And obviously, putting my family in a good situation. But for the most part, I don’t even think about it. I just go out there and play, play hard and let God take care of the rest.” Memphis Commercial Appeal

The evolution of Clippers center DeAndre Jordan is ongoing — and whatever the final result is, the responsibility is in his hands. Even Jordan recognizes that. "Do any other basketball players stop growing as a person and as a player when they're 24?" Jordan asked. "So, yes, I'm still growing and evolving — as a player and as a young man." Los Angeles Times

"Sure, I think he's evolving, but some guys take longer than others," Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said. "It depends on their personality, what their background is, what their work ethic is, the situation they are in." Los Angeles Times

But those missed free throws make him an easy target. "Yeah, I'm aware of it, but I also work on it," Jordan said. "I could understand it if I just didn't work on my free-throw shooting and I'm just going out there and saying, 'I just hope they go in.' That's what people don't understand. "They're like, 'You should work on your free-throw shooting.' What the [heck] you think I'm doing? That's why I think some people are idiots. … Do they think we really go out there — me or Dwight Howard or whoever — do you think we go out there and just try to miss them?" Los Angeles Times

In a recent Journal Times’ survey of 35 NBA players and advance scouts, Bryant was their overwhelming choice as the “NBA’s Most Competitive’’ player. Among those casting votes for Bryant were two players who have witnessed his almost-demonic determination up close and personal: former teammate and current Charlotte guard Ramon Sessions and current teammate Steve Blake. “Just having played with Kobe, I have seen how extremely competitive he is,’’ Sessions said. “I think he’s in his 17th season now and he’s still got a will to win like nobody else. He’s all about winning. He’ll do everything in his power to win.’’ Racine Journal-Times

When former No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick Greg Oden unexpectedly stopped by the Rose Garden Wednesday night, he slipped into the bowels of the building to speak to some of his former teammates. Aldridge was one, and while he said it was nice to see his one-time frontcourt mate, it also was odd. “Like a ghost,” Aldridge said, describing running into Oden. Aldridge said he didn’t ask Oden — who’s career was derailed by five knee surgeries — if he was contemplating a comeback. But based on Oden’s appearance and attitude, Aldridge guessed that Oden was. “He said he was doing good,” Aldridge said of Oden. “He looked slim. He said he was wearing his old suits from draft night. I said, ‘Congrats on that.’ Oregonian

Tom Thibodeau spoke positively on Thursday about the progress of Derrick Rose. However, Rose’s inability to play the game at his normal pace has delayed his return. “He’s close, but he’s not going to come back until he’s ready,” said Thibodeau. “He feels a lot better, but he’s still not there. His skill set is power, speed, stop-and-go, and change of change of direction. He has to make sure he’s completely comfortable with that and he’s close, but he’s not quite there yet.” Thibodeau has kept a close eye on Rose during his rehab and will wait for him to decide his return date. “We talk everyday,” said Thibodeau. “We’ll know when he’s ready and he’ll communicate that. He’s very strong willed and he’s not going to be swayed by anybody. He’ll know when he’s ready.” RealGM

By the fourth quarter of the Spurs’ 100-88 loss at Oklahoma City on Thursday, Gregg Popovich had seen enough of Tony Parker. It wasn’t exactly the All-Star point guard’s 1-of-6, two-point scoring night that was concerning the Spurs coach. It was the way Parker was hobbling up and down the court at Chesapeake Energy Arena, looking more like 38-year-old Thunder guard Derek Fisher than Fisher himself. “I saw him come across half court actually limping at one time, so that’s when we pulled him,” Popovich said. “I said ‘Tony, you’ve got to stop, so we can figure out what it is.’ He just couldn’t go.” San Antonio Express-News

Popovich doesn’t believe what plagued Parker in OKC was necessarily that, but a previously unreported injury to his shin. “My feeling is tendonitis, something in his shins or whatever, from the way it looked on the court, but I don’t know,” said Popovich, who described himself “very concerned” about his star guard’s health. “We thought he had just kind of recovered from his ankle, so this was something new tonight with his leg,” Popovich said. “I just don’t know what it is right now.” San Antonio Express-News

LaMarcus Aldridge’s season is not over just yet. The Trail Blazers’ All-Star power forward went through a practice for the first time since spraining his right ankle on March 27 and declared himself fit to play Friday against the Houston Rockets. “I feel better,” Aldridge said. “I went through practice today and (my ankle) was a little tender, but definitely something I can deal with. So I’m going to go tomorrow.” Oregonian

Garnett didn't directly discuss the health issues that have sidelined him for the last seven games, but said he was looking forward to returning to action before the start of the postseason. "Obviously, everybody wants a rhythm going into the playoffs," he said. "I'm no different than that. I want to be as healthy as I can; everybody's dealing with something at this time of year, and I'm no different from that. "I just want to be strong. I want my mind fresh, I want to be as strong and as healthy as I can be, and go at this thing one thousand percent. Nothing less than that." CSNNE.com

Ronda Burke hadn't even heard about the report Thursday that her son, Trey, had decided to turn pro. She didn't need to. "He has not made any decision," Ronda told Yahoo! Sports Thursday afternoon, when reached by phone. She went on to say she didn't believe Trey had even spoken to anyone outside the family about his plans. "Trey is focused on playing the games." Twenty-four hours earlier, Ronda Burke said the same thing, even more emphatically, when asked about her son's pending decision. "With all of this? Really?" she said. "The discussion has been that shot. The discussion has been Mitch McGary, Nik Stauskas. That's what we've been discussing. We don't have time for anything else." Yahoo! Sports

The city of New Orleans is hosting the event in 2014 and it is between Brooklyn and New York for 2015. Word is Cleveland and Toronto have the upper hand for 2016, leaving door open for the year 2017. A high-ranking NBA source told CSNNW.com that an announcement on who receives the event for 2015 and 2016 will be forthcoming, but added that the bidding process has not begun for 2017. “We're definitely going to pursue it,” McGowan said. “Doesn't mean we're going to get it, but if the opportunity presents itself, we're going to go for it. If 2017 is available, we want to get in the mix for that year.” CSNNW.com

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, contacted by TMZ for his comment about comments made by Magic Johnson, said he would be honored if the Mavericks had a gay player. Here is a transcription of some of Cuban's comments: TMZ: Mark have you seen the Magic Johnson interview that we did. Magic is essentially saying that if anybody from the LA Dodgers comes out, he will not only be supported, he'll be protected. What's your feeling? Mark Cuban: Exact same thing. I would do it the exact same way. I've been saying the same thing for years. There will be somebody who comes out. It'll be a great moment for sports. I would be honored if he was on my team. I think things have changed, significantly, in that the players would accept him. All professional sports have had their homophobic missteps along the way, it's a new era, a new generation and the player would be accepted. I think we are starting, at least on the edges, break down those barriers. This shouldn't be a big deal. I applaud Magic for being willing to step out and show leadership like he always has. Dallas Morning News

Emporio Armani Milano’s President, Livio Proli made this statement about Danilo Gallinari’s injury last night during the NBA game between the Denver Nuggets and the Dallas Mavericks: “On behalf of Olimpia and as a personal friend, I’m deeply saddened by what happened to Danilo in the happiest period of his NBA career and during a great time for his team. Knowing him, I also know he’s going to be back soon and better than ever. Spiritually – and if it’ll be his wish physically too – all the people in Olimpia will be close to him during the rehab. Be strong Danilo!” Sportando

On Dec. 27, Barry A. Kozyra, Murdock's attorney, sent a two-page letter, obtained by ESPN, to John K. Bennett, who is representing Rutgers University, seeking $950,000. Murdock's annual salary at Rutgers was $70,000. The letter was dated two weeks after Rutgers men's basketball coach Mike Rice was suspended three games without pay and fined $50,000 for a violation of athletic department policy, which Rutgers announced on Dec. 13. ESPN.com

Former NBA and Georgia Tech hoops star Javaris Crittenton is now back in jail. The former Atlanta Journal-Constitution Mr. Georgia Basketball surrendered to officials at the Fulton County Jail late Thursday afternoon on murder charges. Crittenton, 25, was indicted Tuesday on murder, attempted murder and criminal gang activity charges, among other offenses, for allegedly shooting and killing Julian Jones with an assault rifle in August 2011 and trying to kill another man from a rival gang. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Prosecutors said Crittenton and his cousin Douglas Gamble killed 23-year-old Jones on Aug. 19, 2011, while gunning for Trontavious Stephens, who was with the Atlanta mother of four when she was shot. Stephens, prosecutors said, had robbed Crittenton at gunpoint months earlier. Days before the shooting, prosecutors said Crittenton shot at, but missed, Stephens’ brother, Demontinez. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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