HoopsHype rumors

April 6, 2013 | 05:19 PM ET Update

The Wizards will have a reunion with Crawford on Sunday at TD Garden, but when reporters in Boston asked him about playing his former team, Crawford responded on Saturday with a question of his own. “Who?” Crawford said, before adding, “I don’t recall playing for Washington.” Washington Post

Since Crawford was traded, Beal has missed 17 of the past 23 games and is done for the season with a stress injury right fibula. The Wizards (28-47) have been content with having two roster spots occupied by the seldom-used Jason Collins and the injured Leandro Barbosa, who never suited for the team. Grunfeld bluntly explained why he moved Crawford by stating, “Jordan did not fit into our current plans…or our future plans.” When asked he had something to prove to Washington, Crawford responded, “To who?” “It’s just another game,” Crawford said. “I want to come out and try to win the game.” Washington Post

But despite being named first-team All-State and Northern California Division II Player of the Year, local schools like Stanford and UCLA passed on the 6-foot-3 Lin. "Well, I think the obvious thing in my mind is that I was Asian-American, which, you know, is a whole different issue but ... I think that was a barrier," Lin told Charlie Rose in a "60 Minutes" interview that will air Sunday night. "I mean ... it's a stereotype." Lin ended up at Harvard University, where he was twice named to the All-Ivy League first team. He went undrafted out of college, but impressed in the NBA Summer League and signed with the Golden State Warriors in 2010. ESPN.com

Did race play a factor in why Lin wasn't drafted, too? "I think in the true sense the answer to that is yes," NBA commissioner David Stern told Rose, according to CBSNews.com. "In terms of looking at somebody ... I don't know whether he was discriminated against because he was at Harvard," Stern said with a laugh, according to CBSNews.com. "Or because he was Asian." ESPN.com

With Gasol setting the screen, Bryant can create a shot for himself or look to pass, including getting the ball back to Gasol, who can do the same. "It's a huge, huge threat," said Bryant. "Then you have Dwight [Howard] ducking in on the inside and you put Jody Meeks in the corner and you just hope we miss." Naturally that changes with players like Nash and World Peace in the lineup. Nash is the team's best three-point shooter. Los Angeles Times

Why has it taken so long for the Lakers to turn to the Bryant/Gasol pick and roll? "It's been a lot of figuring out, it's been coaching changes," he said. "It's been injuries. It's been all that crap man, but it's better late than never. Everybody's kind of panicking a little bit ... but the reality is, we play well this last stretch of games, you go into the playoffs very confident because you beat some very tough teams. We'll be ready to roll." Los Angeles Times

Pablo Prigioni, a 35-year-old rookie from Argentina, does not use ice — not after games, practice or shoot-arounds. “I don’t like it,” he said. If the Knicks’ locker room sometimes feels crowded with wounded and exhausted players, Prigioni is nearly always one of the first showered and dressed, sometimes in a plaid dress shirt, dark jeans and Chuck Taylors. “If you get used to using ice all the time, you feel then you need it every day,” said Prigioni, who is averaging about 15 minutes a game, and roughly 20 since Coach Mike Woodson made him a starter 11 games ago. “I decided I will just use it when I really need it. Thank God I don’t need it.” New York Times

Prigioni is vigilant about what he eats — not a lot of carbohydrates, no milk. Grilled chicken and fish are a must. Fruit and a salad are essential, too. Perhaps the most important part for Prigioni is getting eight hours of sleep. “I believe more in this routine than putting on ice,” Prigioni said. “I don’t want to change, because I’ve done this for so many years.” Prigioni’s teammates have taken notice of his habits. “He’s one of a kind,” said Raymond Felton, the starting point guard, who has struggled with his weight in the past. New York Times

For the first time since being diagnosed with a plantar fascia tear in his right heel, Lawson did some light jogging and shooting Saturday. He has missed six of the past seven games. “It’s getting a little bit better,” he said. “The soreness is going down a lot. Just trying to get my wind back and get back to the feel of basketball.” NBA.com

The Nuggets continue to play well without their scoring and assist leader, but Lawson’s health will be key when Denver opens the postseason in two weeks. Ideally, he would like to return for the final two or three games of the regular season. “I think he should play (before the playoffs start),” Nuggets coach George Karl said. “It might not be 100 percent. He has to learn how to play when it’s 70 or 80 percent. Can we get 25 minutes a game out of him? You don’t want to determine that in the first two games of the playoffs.” NBA.com

The Trail Blazers' starting small forward skipped the team’s Saturday morning practice because of lingering right shoulder pain and said afterward that he would not play Sunday night, when the Dallas Mavericks visit the Rose Garden. But even though the playoffs are out of the question, even though there’s only six games left in a lost season, even though his shoulder continues to nag, he has no plans of mailing it in over the final 11 days. “The thing is, I feel bad to be sitting behind the bench and watching those guys lose,” Batum said. “I feel useless. I hate that. I have to try to keep playing. For my teammates, for my pride, for the fans. They supported us and I have to respect them. We have to play until the season is over.” Oregonian

Batum said he will be reevaluated next week and if everything goes well, he hopes to return to practice on Tuesday in preparation for the Blazers’ Wednesday night matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers at the Rose Garden. “I want to play — I want to win,” Batum said. “I don’t want the season to end like this.” Oregonian

Dan Woike: Chauncey Billups is doubtful for Sunday's game with Lakers. Barnes (ankle), Griffin (calf) and Jordan (hip) all should play. Twitter @DanWoikeSports

North Carolina is still awaiting word on whether Reggie Bullock, P.J. Hairston and James Michael McAdoo will return to school or forego their eligibility to enter the NBA draft. But Tar Heels coach Roy Williams during a radio interview on Friday provided some optimism that all might return to UNC. Speaking with Taylor Zarzour on WFNZ in Charlotte, Williams said “it’s still up in the air,” whether Bullock, Hairston and McAdoo would return. “But we're much much closer to having all of them back than we were last year,” Williams said. At the end of the 2011-12 season, Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Kendall Marshall all left UNC early to enter the NBA draft. Those three, along with the departed senior center Tyler Zeller, were all selected among the top 17 picks in the NBA draft. Raleigh News & Observer

Q: Any thoughts on who will win the Final Four? Tristan Thompson: I'm going to go with Wichita State. I hope Wichita State wins, because we've got two Canadians on the team. (Nick Wiggins and Chadrack Lufile.) The Shockers. If not, Louisville. Q: Did you see Louisville's Kevin Ware break his leg, and what did you think when that happened? A: We were in the locker room when the game was on, so we saw it happen. Our reaction was what everyone else thinks. Some of us turned. You don't want to look at it. You're just praying for the kid. I actually know the kid. In high school, Adidas would run these basketball clinics and he was there. He played for the Atlanta Celtics. Cleveland Plain Dealer

When Stephen Jackson and Matt Bonner were planning their joint birthday party, it can't have been easy to agree on a theme. But if there's one thing everybody can agree on, it's that Anchorman is a classic of American cinema. So the San Antonio Spurs teammates decided to have a viewing party, and act along with the film. In a great video interview with Spurs.com (which is absolutely worth four and a half minutes of your day to watch and you should do so right now), Captain Jack recounts his starring role as Ron Burgundy. He even played the jazz-flute solo, if he is to be believed. "I co-wrote 'Afternoon Delight,'" he says at one point. "I don't know if you knew that." USA Today Sports

April 6, 2013 | 02:23 PM ET Update

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed guard Jerel McNeal for the remainder of the season. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Following the move, the Jazz roster remains at 15 players. NBA.com

Jordan Crawford will face his former team, the Washington Wizards, on Sunday at TD Garden. "Who?" Crawford asked before practice Saturday when the issue was broached. Washington, he was told. You'll be playing Washington. Your old team. "I don't recall playing for Washington," Crawford responded -- and he used this line twice. Boston Globe

After being sidelined with left ankle inflammation since last month, Kevin Garnett returned to Celtics practice on Saturday afternoon. Garnett, who has not played since March 22, has been patiently recovering, aware of the importance of being healthy for the playoffs versus pushing himself to return too soon. "I have some issues with my foot," Garnett said before practice. "More from like the motion if you were just pushing the gas pedal, and it's an issue. If it wasn't, I wouldn't be out. But I am getting better and I'm going to practice today. Doc and I are going to have a conversation to make some decisions for the future." CSNNE.com

April 6, 2013 | 11:06 AM ET Update

But Del Negro's well-chronicled desire for the Clips to trade for Boston's Kevin Garnett in February, coupled with his bosses' well-chronicled reluctance to part with both Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan in a KG deal, has spawned the impression of competing agendas behind closed doors in Clipperland. It's also undeniably worrisome for Del Negro that, according to sources, Stan Van Gundy's availability already has the Clippers highly intrigued. ESPN.com

Vinny Del Negro insisted before a recent loss in Dallas that he has "a great future no matter what." The signals are nonetheless getting louder and louder that said future won't be at Staples Center, with Del Negro working on a flimsy one-year extension and L.A. looking nothing like the team -- whether that's due to health woes, locker-room fissures or coaching issues -- that won 17 straight games in December. Could a deep playoff run save him? Even that might not be enough entering the most critical summer in the Clippers' history, with Chris Paul becoming a free agent July 1 and Clips management having always planned to let Paul have a big say (assuming he wants one) before any coach gets another long-term deal from them. ESPN.com

The Rockets, furthermore, are unconcerned by the fact that, at present, they wouldn't be able to offer a four-year maximum contract to Howard. While true that Howard is eligible to earn $20,513,178 next season -- and that Houston's current ceiling for a Year 1 offer to Dwight is believed to be in the $18 million range -- sources close to the situation say the Rockets are confident that they can make the necessary trades to get to a full four-year max if Howard is willing to join them. ESPN.com

A.J. Price knew the percentages, and he knew the Chicago Bulls did, too. So when Price got the ball on the wing and faked a pass to the corner for Trevor Ariza, a slightly bigger perimeter threat than himself, Daequan Cook had no choice but to bite. He did, hard. That left Price open for his second 3-pointer in the Wizards' gritty 90-86 win over the Bulls on Tuesday, part of 13 points and part of his case to keep his place on the roster next season. "I definitely want to be here," Price said after the game. "I've expressed that many a time." Washington Examiner

After a game in which his shot was errant — 1 for 11 on 3-point attempts, 6 for 19 from the field — Portland’s starting guard seemed to call out his teammates. “We need to play with some pride, man,” Matthews said as he met with the media afterward. “I’m trying not to cuss right now, but we have to play with some damn heart. This is crazy. This is ridiculous.” Told that the Blazers’ playoff chances had reached zero, Portland’s starting shooting guard shook his head. “It’s not even about that,” Matthews said. “We have to play like this is the blessing that it is. We’re over here taking it for granted. “We need to check our hearts at the door. We have six games left and we’ve lost seven in a row. we’re better than that.” Portland Tribune

It’s hard to win a game, a reporter mentioned, when a team is 2 for 20 on treys, as were the Blazers Friday night. “I’ll take the blame for that,” Matthews said. “I’m supposed to be able to knock down 3s. I’ve been off a little bit. “But we can’t give up 11 or however many we gave up, either (the Rockets made 12 3-pointers). We have to knock down shots, but at the same time, we have to play some damn defense. We have to play with some heart and some toughness. Who cares if we’re not in the damn playoffs?” Portland Tribune

"The fans are sick of it, we're sick of it," Matthews told Blazersedge. "We've got to give them something to cheer about. Losing seven straight isn't it. We're playing a little bit harder, but not up to our standards, not what we're capable of. It doesn't matter that we're mathematically out [of the playoffs], this is the best job in the damn world. We've got to treat it as such. We've got to be men. We've got to play, we've got to come to work, until this is over with. We're not doing that." Blazers Edge

The rant pierced an otherwise flat locker room, and Matthews said that it would be repeated -- without the cameras and microphones -- the next day to his teammates. "It's definitely going to be known tomorrow," he told Blazersedge. "We're not getting beat by 20 for the rest of the season. There's no excuse. We've beaten these teams before. ... It's stupid right now." Blazers Edge

"I think guys are trying to play hard, I think guys just need to play smarter," Aldridge told Blazersedge. "I don't think tonight I question anyone playing hard. I definitely want guys to play smarter. We made some mistakes tonight that they didn't and they won the game." The split opinion between Portland's two most important veterans couldn't have been clearer. Rookie guard Damian Lillard, who finished with 11 points (on four-for-12 shooting), seven assists and three rebounds, played it mostly down the middle. "I think we're playing hard," he told Blazersedge. "I just think our urgency and -- I don't want to say heart, the word is probably desire to finish strong -- isn't where it should be. Our playoff hopes went down the drain and now it seems like we're just trying to get to the end of the season." Blazers Edge

Hornets Coach Monty Williams said afterward it was a coach's decision that limited Gordon's second-half playing time. Gordon finished with 7 points on 2 of 3 shooting. He played a total of 17 minutes, 44 seconds. "Nothing wrong physically," Gordon said. "It was his decision just to take e out of the game for the rest of the game. I thought we were (in a good flow). You always make adjustments throughout the game. We're down at halftime by two points, and two or three possessions (in the third quarter), I'm out of there. I'd love to figure (it) out. You always want to do what's best for the team. Since he took me out, he took me out. "I definitely wanted to be out there for sure." New Orleans Times-Picayune

The way this night was shaking out, a DQ felt inevitable. Instead, Howard found a way to stay in the game, and even make a few big plays down the stretch. Afterward, the center was asked how he managed to avoid fouling out. "I was just trying to stay composed," explained Howard. "I had lost my composure for a second and I just wanted to make up for it. Get some good stops on the defensive end, and just happy we got the win." Sulia

This season, the 6-foot-8 forward is tied for a league-high seven games in which he's scored 40 points or more. But a slight pattern has often emerged whenever Anthony gets in a scoring groove: The players around him typically make shots at a lower percentage as those games progress. The Knicks shoot 45%—which is right at the league average—as a team, and normally shoot slightly better in first halves (46%) than they do in second halves (44%). The numbers are far more disparate, however, when looking at how the Knicks' role players shoot when Anthony catches fire. Anthony's teammates have shot 47% in first halves during Anthony's best-scoring performances, but just 41% on the back end of those games. The role players' collective shooting percentage in those games falls even further in the second half, to 38%, when you take J.R. Smith—a sixth man who's about as fearless offensively as Anthony—out of the equation. Wall Street Journal

Carmelo Anthony got an endorsement as a winner from the most notable winner in Knicks history as two-time champ Willis Reed spoke up for him. In New York to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the last championship team, Reed was asked if he was surprised the franchise hadn't won since. He started there and veered to Melo. "Well, I'm not a betting man. I mean, I'm really not a betting man," Reed said. "But I'll tell you, I would have bet $100 on that, I would have taken $100 of that. Right after I got out they get Patrick, and they came that close. I mean, they were there, they had it done. I thought they had it done, and they didn't do it. You know, that's unusual. I think this has always been a very good franchise. I think the fans have always been very loyal. It's always been a popular team around the league, and I think it'll stay that way. Sulia

One prominent former Laker sounds skeptical about the team's playoff chances. "It's going to be tough," Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said in a phone interview. "If they do make it, I don't know how far they're going to go." The Lakers entered their game Friday against Memphis with a half-game lead over Utah for the eighth playoff spot. The Lakers would likely play against San Antonio or Oklahoma City in the first round. They've only gone 1-5 against those teams. "They had been trying to figure out a whole new system," Abdul-Jabbar said, referring to Mike D'Antoni replacing Mike Brown as head coach following a 1-4 start. "That just makes for confusion. They may have to wait until next year." Los Angeles Daily News

Kurt Thomas said on Friday that there is a "good chance" that he can return during the playoffs. "The pain is definitely reduced; I still feel it a little bit. But we're just rehabbing, slowly taking it easy, just trying to eliminate the pain," said Thomas, who suffered a stress reaction in his foot on March 18. At the time of the injury, the Knicks said Thomas would be out two to four weeks. "I definitely think I've got a good chance [to come back in the postseason]," he said. "It's all about how the foot heals up. If the bone heals up and I'm able to get out there, I'll give it a go." ESPN.com

Livingston has made the best of a heartbreaking situation, remaining relevant despite the star label quickly fading following the injury. He can relate to Ware, having to deal with looks of sympathy and compassion and murmurs of what might have been if his leg had not collapsed. “Just the passion to play the game is what kept me going,” he said. “If you’re passionate about something and you work hard for it, even though the face of adversity. I am a man of faith and faith is not always supposed to happen and what you see, sometimes it’s just walking that path. Everybody has their own path and I believe everything happens for a reason and you kind of just rock with it.” Boston Globe

He has walked the road Ware is about to embark, an arduous rehabilitation filled with self doubt, constant visions of that night, and questions about your durability and desire. “I would say stay away from the public’s opinion,” Livingston said when asked what advice he would offer Ware. “Just stay strong with his faith and focus on the positives. “Obviously everything is going to be about what he can’t do, his limitations and all that. He has to focus on the positives, moving forward. That’s the way he’s going to make progress.” Boston Globe

Dwight Howard remembers the trauma of the broken leg he sustained after dunking in a game as a teenager. So Howard had to call Kevin Ware after seeing the Louisville player's gruesome injury in the NCAA tournament on Sunday. "I know how it feels. When I broke my leg, everybody thought that my career was done when I was 15," Howard said Friday. "Look where it got me. I’m pretty sure it’s going to push him to work even harder." Los Angeles Times

Timberwolves two-time All-Star forward Kevin Love was not cleared on Friday for contact action and will return to New York City to be evaluated by his hand surgeon early next week. The team last week said Love would be evaluated this week. His healing right shooting hand was not scanned by Friday, but the team’s medical staff and Love’s surgeon conferred after photos of Love’s hand were forwarded to her. His return to New York City next week makes his return to play this season less likely. The Wolves begin a three-game Western trip at Golden State on Tuesday and by then only eight days and six games will remain in a season that ends April 17. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

A source close to the situation in Chicago told HOOPSWORLD earlier this week that Rose seems to be completely healthy. He’s practicing just like he did before the injury and is not showing any signs of weakness with the surgically repaired leg. In fact, the source said a lot of people around the team are scratching their heads, wondering what’s keeping Rose from returning for a tune up before the playoffs. Rose has made mention that he isn’t entirely comfortable dunking off of the leg just yet, and there has been some talk about his hamstrings being a little sore, but otherwise the former MVP looks like he could step on the court tomorrow and push his team from first round fodder to possible contenders. The Bulls absolutely need Rose back as soon as possible if they’re going to get much further than the first round, but there is a bigger reason why Rose’s return is so important. HoopsWorld

San Antonio general manager R.C. Buford was at the Petersen Events Center in March for Pitt’s home finale against Villanova. Adams did not play in the game because he sprained an ankle in practice the day before. NBA scouts visit Pitt home games often, but a general manager is more noteworthy. The Spurs also employ Sean Marks in their front office. Marks, a 6-foot-10 journeyman who played in the NBA from 1998 until 2011, is one of only two native New Zealanders to play in the NBA. He is Buford’s director of basketball operations and the general manager of the team’s developmental league franchise. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

UNLV junior forward Mike Moser is leaning toward transferring and spending his final season at Washington, where he would be eligible next season, sources told CBSSports.com. The 6-foot-8 Moser, who battled injuries this season and only averaged 7.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, will likely graduate this summer and transfer. One source said he could still elect to put his name in for the NBA Draft, but that's unlikely. "It's almost done that he's going to transfer and play at Washington," one source said. CBSSports.com

Even with so many teams being discussed here, no team in coaching circles is rated as more likely to make a change than the Pistons, whose 4-18 record since the All-Star break and increasingly frequent struggles to keep games competitive have clearly put Lawrence Frank's job in jeopardy despite the one season, followed by a team option, left on his contract. League coaching sources consistently submit Frank's name as poised for dismissal when the regular seasons ends, with the Pistons said to be increasingly concerned by some of the body language and lukewarm responsiveness from Frank's players that's often evident to scouts sitting courtside. ESPN.com

Lionel Hollins does not yet have a contract for next season. The emphasis, though, is firmly on yet. One coaching source consulted this week said it was "very likely" that Hollins will receive a new contract from the Grizzlies after the playoffs, as initial frustrations from the coach in the wake of the Rudy Gay trade in late January -- and the bosses subjected to those frustrations -- have quickly faded thanks to the fact that Memphis still has the best team in franchise history even without Gay. ESPN.com

Word is that even a first-round exit is unlikely to dissuade the Grizzlies from trying to retain Hollins. There's also a theory out there that Hollins would actually like to survey the field, knowing he's sure to receive offers from other teams, but I'm not buying that one. Given how successful Hollins has been in Memphis and how well-regarded he is by Grizz fans, I don't see him looking to leave. ESPN.com

Boylan's return has not been ruled out, with word circulating that no formal evaluation will be made until after the playoffs. But the Bucks are almost certainly headed for a dreaded first-round date with the Heat, so it's hard to picture how the playoffs are going to help any. ESPN.com

Scott is believed to have the support of the front office, but there is a growing sense in Cleveland that Gilbert will be moved to make a change regardless, no matter how much Scott's fortunes have been affected by the various absences of Kyrie Irving, Anderson Varejao and Dion Waiters, and irrespective of the money Scott's owed in 2013-14. And if Scott sticks? It could well have as much to do with the Cavs' reluctance to dive into a crowded marketplace to find a replacement as anything. ESPN.com

The distinct sense I get in Philly is that the decision whether Doug Collins, at 61, decides to continue coaching the Sixers after projected franchise cornerstone Andrew Bynum played zero minutes this season will be left fully up to Collins. He suggested as much recently while Adam Aron, Philly's CEO, told a town-hall style gathering of Sixers fans in late March that "Doug Collins is under absolutely zero pressure from ownership." ESPN.com

Yet the safe bet remains that the Russian billionaire won't wait too long after the Nets' elimination before re-opening the pursuit or Phil Jackson or Jeff Van Gundy or another marquee name (if there's another one to chase) given how much easier it'll be to make a splashy coaching hire to try to elevate this team than making major changes to such a high- dollar roster. ESPN.com

What we do know: Ferry remains one of Mike Brown's biggest fans, so assumptions about Ferry's interest in bringing Brown to Atlanta will live on until Brown is no longer a coaching free agent. ESPN.com

Could the Bobcats' inability to build off a 7-5 start no one saw coming, descending instead into a nosedive that has parked them for months in the bottom-two dungeon of ESPN.com's weekly NBA Power Rankings amid the predictable whispers about how resistant Charlotte's vets are to a rookie coach branded as a college guy, cost Dunlap his job after just one season? I really didn't think so, but more than one source consulted this week identified Dunlap as a coach in potential jeopardy, which undoubtedly stems from Michael Jordan's recent proclamation to a group of season-ticket holders that major offseason changes are coming in Charlotte. I'm just not quite sure how much more Dunlap -- who was hired, remember, for his rep in player development -- was supposed to get out of a group that still needs lots of developing. Lots. ESPN.com

But sources say McHale, within team circles, has quietly let it be known that he's planning to stay in the game. Which surely comes as welcome news to Rockets owner Les Alexander, who is said to be a huge McHale fan. "Coach McHale 4 Coach of the Year," Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted Friday, lauding McHale for his role in getting such a young team -- albeit transformed by the late October arrival of James Harden -- to the playoffs. ESPN.com

One source with knowledge of the situation said this week that Hunter has a "good shot" to see his interim label switched to permanent head coach at season's end. Makes sense with Babby staying and general manager Lance Blanks already under contract for next season … and with Goran Dragic, Jared Dudley and Marcin Gortat -- if Dudley and Gortat aren't dealt to teams better equipped to use -- needing so much more help for the coaching to really make a difference. ESPN.com

The quickie summation for this format, from those plugged into the coaching grapevine, is that Corbin's position is likely endangered only if the Jazz miss out on the playoffs. And even then -- even amid ongoing doubts about his ability to make on-the-fly game adjustments and what has been described as an unremarkable sideline presence -- Corbin could hang on. ESPN.com

Wittman's situation is being cited in this late-season spin on the carousel to emphasize that he's no longer in danger. He would appear to have less to worry about than virtually all of his aforementioned colleagues, with one year left on his contract and the Wiz possessing a team option for the 2014-15 season. ESPN.com

It has been a tough year all around. His wife Mary Kay has been suffering from a series of seizures that had baffled doctors and pulled Adelman away from the team for 11 games in Janury. Her condition stabilized enough to allow him to return to -- and concentrate on -- his job. But it remains a concern, enough that many who know him believe he will walk away this summer from the two years left on a four-year, $20 million contract. No matter how intrigued he is by the potential in Minnesota, the untapped dynamics of getting Love and Rubio and the others on the floor together for an extended stretch. No matter how badly he'd like another shot at a ring or the satisfaction of building another team in need into something special. NBA.com

"Rick is a family guy, whether it's your family or his family," Webber said. "That's his first and foremost priority. If it's ever a situation where it's a choice between family and basketball, basketball is going to lose every time." It would be, however, the NBA's and its fans' loss. Seven others have gotten to 1,000. In Webber's opinion, none earned it or was more worthy than his guy. "To me he's the perfect coach to get your team up to the championship level and he's the perfect coach to rebuild your program," Webber said. "He's one of the unique guys who can coach a team full of rookies or a team full of veterans. "He really helped me fulfill my potential and challenged me. So I don't care if he won one game, I would know he's a great coach." NBA.com

Asked Friday night about possibly returning to coaching in the NBA, Jackson replied: “Nah, I’m not going to talk about that. It’s not the time to talk about it.” Booed often as an opposing coach over the years, Jackson also expected the reception from the Garden fans during the anniversary celebration to be “quietly muted,” adding, “I don’t think there will be any boos like there was in the last few years.” New York Daily News

So it was noteworthy to see the former Bulls and Lakers “Zen Master” holding court in front of a “Knicks No. 18” banner – and even speaking glowingly about the current edition of the team -- before Friday night’s game against the Bucks at the Garden. “They’re a good team. I think they’ve come a long way in, what, the last two-and-a-half weeks? They’ve put together some games, and they’re starting to make a run,” Jackson said before the Atlantic Division-leading Knicks tried for their 11th consecutive win. “It’s the right time of the year to get healthy. They’ve got some injuries, whatever, but they’ve kind of survived it. New York Daily News

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