HoopsHype rumors

October 6, 2013 | 06:10 PM ET Update

Weems, 27, returns to the USA as a key member of Russia's CSKA Moscow and will play against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday and San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday in exhibition games with his mind set on returning to the NBA, potentially as soon as next season. "These two games won't dictate whether I make my comeback to the NBA or whether I stay in Europe," Weems said. "This season, that's what will determine my future. But my resume so far has let coaches and GMs know that I'm ready to play in the NBA again." USA Today Sports

Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger returned to the court Saturday night after missing most of last season with a left knee injury, finishing with six points on 2-for-10 shooting in 29 minutes during his team's 82-76 loss to the Chicago Bulls. "He was a little rusty, and I wouldn't expect anything but that," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "His game condition is in the final part of his recovery." ESPN.com

When the Nets were planning their move to Brooklyn, their analysis told them that 17.8 percent of their fans would be residents of New Jersey. The reality was that only about half that number showed up in Brooklyn ... 9.8 percent of fans who attended games returned to their homes in New Jersey. Apparently, the Nets haven't given up on fans from across the Hudson. Best Trails & Travel, the Official Charter Bus Sponsor of the Brooklyn Nets, is once again offering shuttle bus service from Paramus to Brooklyn. In an email sent out to New Jersey fans this week, the Nets announced they're offering a 10 percent group discount. NetsDaily

October 6, 2013 | 03:49 PM ET Update

Iguodala revealed in an interview with ESPN The Magazine that his decision to sign with Golden State was due to more than simply getting the chance to play alongside Stephen Curry. It turns out Iguodala is a lot more shrewd with his money than people might have assumed, and that he is already preparing himself for his post-playing career. “I thought the Bay Area would be a great spot for me,” Iguodala told Sam Alipour. “There are just so many opportunities out here. I’ve got my mind on tech funds and venture capital funds. That’s what I want to get acquainted with. In fact, my financial team has already started laying some of that groundwork.” NESN.com

Though Vasquez's contract ends at the end of this season, the fourth-year veteran is itching for an extended stay, both to facilitate the Kings' return to the elite and to further the game in his homeland. Carl Herrera and Oscar Torres are the only other Venezuelans to play in the NBA. In the meantime, Vasquez has a bit of a transition to make. His jersey number isn't J-Will's 55. "No. 10," he said, laughing. "Mike Bibby. It's an honor." Sacramento Bee

For the record, Chris Smith sees the tweets from NBA fans talking about how he doesn't deserve to be with the New York Knicks and the only reason he has a roster spot is because his older brother, J.R., is on the team. He sees them -- and then he uses them as motivation. "I read it, but at the same time nobody's getting up with me at 7 a.m. to get here [to the Knicks practice facility] before anybody," Smith said. "I'll read it and I laugh at it. But then I laugh and I go downstairs to my gym at home. It's a lot of motivation for me because all my life nothing has been easy for me because I've always been J.R.'s brother." ESPN.com

Jose Calderon was able to return to parts of practice, but his hamstring injury is likely to make him a no-go against New Orleans in the preseason opener Monday night. "He participated in about half of it," coach Rick Carlisle said after practice. "He's doing better. He's going to be fine. He knows what we're doing. "He's probably not going to go tomorrow. He played all summer, too. We got to be mindful of that. We need him for Oct. 30 is when we need him." Dallas Morning News

Andrei Kirilenko: “I gave 14 years to the [Russian] team, and now I feel that it’s time to step away. I have far too little time for my family. This year, when I wasn’t playing for the team anymore, I really got to know my kids well: I found out what they like, what they don’t like, what sports they most want to do. This might sound a little funny, but I don’t want to miss seeing my kids grow up because I’m playing basketball. I think I’ve done pretty well when it comes to the teams and my personal club career. I might have two, three or four more years left to play. After that, I physically won’t be able to keep playing at as high a level. As a professional, I want to play at the highest level. Of course, on the one hand this is a very hard decision, but, on the other hand, it’s very easy. But it feels good.” Russia Beyond The Headlines

Cheeks put the entire team on the line for sprints for telling him they had it down when it was clear they didn’t. “He put us on the line,” Billups said. “I said, ‘Man, I ain’t been on the line since like seventh grade.’ “He set the tone with that basically saying if we do it we’re going to do it right and we’re going to do it hard every time. I love the fact that he’s laid-back. If you do what you’re supposed to do, it makes for an easy, easy time.” Detroit Free Press

From the sounds of it, the big, geeky glasses Iguodala wears aren’t just for looks, unlike some of his NBA brethren. He says he has gone to seminars about investing and how to run a team, and hopes to own an NBA and a WNBA franchise. He plans to pick the brain of Warriors owner and successful venture capitalist Joe Lacob, and calls himself the “biggest fan” of Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle Corp., based in Santa Clara, Calif. He interned at Bank of America Merrill Lynch during the lockout two years ago. NESN.com

At 5-foot-8, Floyd Mayweather Jr. physically looks up to everyone on the Miami Heat roster. Figuratively, the roles were reversed Sunday. Mayweather was a surprise guest at Heat practice Sunday morning, sitting courtside with team president Pat Riley, managing general partner Micky Arison and other members of the franchise's brain trust. It's rare for any outsider to get invited into Heat practice, though Mayweather's resume — unbeaten in 45 fights and generally considered the best fighter of his era — certainly earned him the ultra-VIP access. "We're trying to defend two titles. He's been defending for a long time," Heat star LeBron James said. "He definitely knows where we're coming from. It's exciting at the end of the day to have someone, one of the greatest of all-time, to be in the presence. It's something you can talk about years from now. ... We're honored and blessed to have him in the building." Oklahoman



Wilt Chamberlain never won a championship with the Warriors, but his monstrous stats make him the clear pick for No. 1 player in franchise history.

October 6, 2013 | 10:15 AM ET Update

The Trail Blazers' flurry of injuries turned serious Saturday as rookie CJ McCollum broke his left foot during practice. McCollum, whom the Blazers drafted with the No. 10 pick of June's draft, fractured the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot. He was running the baseline during a scrimmage when he was bowled over by a teammate. The injury was initially called a sprain, but X-rays revealed the break, the team said. Oregonian

McCollum will need surgery. According to a team release, his prognosis will be made after the procedure, which has not yet been scheduled. The injury is identical to the one McCollum suffered in January, during his senior year at Lehigh. In a game against Virginia Commonwealth, McCollum fractured the exact same fifth metatarsal. McCollum later had surgery, ending his senior year. At the time of the injury, his recovery was estimated at eight to 10 weeks. Oregonian

Yet as one league source explained, Brown receives love from teammates and frustrates coaches and general managers. Perhaps that's why he's never been on one team for more than four seasons. Brett Brown, who called Kwame enjoyable to talk to, said he doesn't know what his past problems were. "All I do know is in my opinion, the thinner he can get, the best shape he can get in, will help him the most," the coach said. "He's not going to lose strength by losing weight. I think that it is going help him immensely, reduce injury, and help him get up and down the floor." Philadelphia Inquirer

Bill Oram: I'm curious to see what happens with Ian Clark. Jazz guard was brought in to make team, but hasn't been overwhelming in first week. Sounds like he may just be pressing a little bit. Which is understandable for an undrafted rookie trying to make an impression. However, I don't think there is much risk the Vegas SL MVP gets cut. He would have to be lousy to get waived. He hasn't been that. Twitter @tribjazz

Henry scored 29 points off the bench on an efficient nine-for-15 shooting Saturday night during the Lakers’ 104-95 victory over the Golden State Warriors at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario. The guard whose addition to the Lakers’ training camp roster didn’t cause much of a stir was a crowd favorite with several amazing plays, including an alley-oop pass on an inbounds play and a shot from beyond half court at the halftime buzzer. “As soon as I had it in my hands,” Henry said, “I looked up, saw the rim and just shot it and it went in.” Pretty impressive for someone who had averaged only 4.5 points during his first three NBA seasons. “I just never had that opportunity to really show what I can do,” said Henry, a former first-round draft pick whose time with the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Hornets was beset by injuries and inconsistent playing time. Los Angeles Times

Did winning a championship with the Lakers make you hungrier to win a second ring? Metta World Peace: I always wanted to win multiple rings, but when you’re dysfunctional, you don’t have no advantages. Q: What do you mean? Metta World Peace: Like when your head is not in the game. I had a period of time for a couple of years where my head wasn’t in the game. And when you are out of the game mentally, you lose out on championships. New York Post

What made you dysfunctional? Metta World Peace: Your parents separated, your environment’s dysfunctional … not a strong household … survival-of-the-fittest-type of environments. And it causes a child to be dysfunctional. Your child can’t focus on life itself, which is supposed to be pure and beautiful … fun. Q: There were things going on in your life that prevented you from focusing the way you needed to? Metta World Peace: When you’re raised a certain way, some people are scarred mentally, and they don’t know how to get over it. Some people don’t know that they’ve been scarred mentally, which is worse, when you don’t actually know that you’ve been scarred. New York Post

Q: You’re talking about your parents separating? Metta World Peace: They separated when I was 13 years old. I think any child’s parents that separate them will scar them, especially if the other experiences added on to that. It just adds up. And after a while it makes you who you are. And then you gotta realize who you are, then see who you want to be. Then after you figure out the person that you want to be, then you gotta try to accomplish that. … You know who you want to be when you’re a child. You know exactly what type of life, what type of world you want to live in. New York Post

The Malice at the Palace. Metta World Peace: I wrote a book about it, son. I think I’m gonna wait to talk about it. But I wrote a book about that whole experience. Q: When’s it coming out? Metta World Peace: I think next summer. Q: Do you think it affected your reputation? Metta World Peace: Maybe like 500,000 people still talk about it, or a million people. But the other 6.9 billion people in the world, I think they got other things to worry about, you know — from the economy, to Middle East problems, to starvation in some countries, to girl trafficking in some countries, to gang violence. There’s so many other problems in the world. New York Post

Her portrait is tattooed on his neck, but the 3D version is always better. He had to get Jaya with him in Denver. This offseason he did just that. Now? "I can focus on everything," said Chandler, a single dad. "I don't have to call every day and make sure she's all right and be stressing about that." And a stress-free existence off the court may lead to a more comfortable existence on it. Both he and the Nuggets are banking on it. Denver Post

"Wilson, to me, still hasn't hit his ceiling yet," Shaw said. "I've been very, very impressed with, from the work I've seen him do in the summer being here. I didn't realize he could shoot the ball as well as he can shoot the ball. I didn't realize he was as big as he is. And I think he can be real versatile for us." Denver Post

Curry's ankles are fine. He didn't do much, totaling less than 15 minutes in the first half, but did provide one of the highlights of the night. After a first-quarter steal set up a breakaway, Curry looked as if he were ready to throw a lob to Barnes. But Barnes conceded, giving Curry the breakaway. He threw down a one-hand dunk. San Jose Mercury-News

Trevor Booker remains doubtful for the Wizards’ preseason opener on Tuesday against the Brooklyn Nets, but he is still eager to get back in a competitive situation. Flashing a smile and covered in a lather of sweat after Saturday’s practice, Booker admitted that he got in a little more work on his sore right knee before actually receiving permission. “I wasn’t supposed to today, but I snuck in one drill while the trainers wasn’t watching,” Booker said with a grin. “I’m sure they’re going to read this…But I snuck in one drill and I feel pretty good.” Washington Post

An assistant coach that Rose deeply valued, Ron Adams, was let go over Thibodeau's wishes this summer because Forman didn't like Adams' defiant disposition. Eventually, Rose could be trapped in the middle of the Forman-Thibodeau cold war. As the months passed without Thibodeau signing his name to a four-year contract extension last season, the coach privately feared the consequences of fully committing himself to that inevitable signature, league sources said. If Thibodeau had been convinced that his GM was usurping the coach's influence without a signed deal, he knew the finalizing of his contract would move him further to the mercy of the GM. The Bulls had a news conference for that four-year, $18 million contract on the eve of training camp in 2012, but it was months and months until Thibodeau signed his name. "It is a toxic relationship that I believe will ultimately derail them," one NBA coaching source with close ties to Thibodeau and Forman warned. Yahoo! Sports

What had been a strained, fractured partnership descended into permanent disrepair with Forman's firing of Adams, the Bulls' top assistant coach and decades-long confidant of Thibodeau's. If Bulls management had to take Thibodeau's criticisms and pushback, they refused to take it from Adams. As one league source told Yahoo Sports, "Ron didn't drink the Kool-Aid there, and this was a message from Gar to Thibs that he's running the show, especially on picking the players." Yahoo! Sports

Thirteen teams made coaching changes in the offseason. Karl, along with Lionel Hollins, who guided the Grizzlies to the Western Conference finals, are unemployed, a testament to the volatile nature of the relationship between coaches and the new generation of club management. “I was amazed at how quickly I accepted what happened,” Karl said, “because I had 8½ great years and last year was probably my most fun coaching any basketball team I’ve ever been associated with. “I don’t have a lot of bitterness other than I don’t understand. But not understanding — when you are working in a world of millions, millions, and millions of dollars, there’s a lot of things I don’t understand. “There’s a lot of contracts we give players that I don’t understand. There’s a lot of trades that I don’t understand. There are a lot of decisions I don’t understand. “I can’t deny there’s an anger and frustration. But there’s much more celebration in my heart than anything else.” Boston Globe

Karl reached the NBA Finals once in 25 years as a head coach but racked up 1,131 victories and helped resurrect franchises in Seattle, Milwaukee, and Denver.He is considered a brilliant offensive mind. “There are a lot of truths that change,” he said. “You win 57 games and win Coach of the Year, the truth was it probably did once create security, but the truth now is it doesn’t. “Lionel Hollins did a great job. The truth is when you do a great job, you should be able to be kept. In today’s world, it’s different. The truth to that is if you don’t adjust to that, you’re probably not going to survive.” Boston Globe

“What I think is good about the game of basketball is the real guys who know how to do it survive, and hopefully I’m one of those guys who continue to survive and get another opportunity. “If that doesn’t happen, I think I can be OK with it. I’ve had a great career and I think I’m healthy enough and energized enough to go another four or five years, and hopefully someone else out there will think the same thing.” Boston Globe

But not even job endorsements from Phil Jackson, Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson could land him the Lakers' job. The plan, apparently, was L.A.-to-Indiana-to-Denver and his first NBA head coaching job. "Regardless of how it ended, I don't have any regrets," Shaw said. "Those were some of the best times that I experienced. I will always cherish them." Denver Post

Asked if there were any hard feelings lingering now, two years after being passed over for the head coaching job with the Lakers after Jackson's retirement in 2011, Shaw said: "No, no. You know, it's the nature of the business. I found that out pretty quickly. I preach to our players to get on to the next play; let that last play go, and I try to do the same thing, too. Every decision is not my decision. It's not going to work out the way I want it to work out. So I've just got to move on." Denver Post

"It was hard for me, the way everything happened so suddenly," Shaw said. "It's hard for me, initially to accept the fact that, wow, I was in L.A. and now I'm going to Indiana. And then I got to Indiana and it was the best thing that could have happened to me. It really was, in terms of seeing a different way of doing things. We had a great young team, a bright young coach who still allowed me to coach and have some input. Our team got better and better every year. So I got the necessary experience that I needed to get me to the position that I'm in now." Denver Post

With big-picture vision, moxie, an eye for talent and a unique ability to appease a billionaire owner, players and coaches with equal savvy, Olshey has steered the franchise into as stable a position as it has been in recent memory. “I think Neil and the scouts have done a great job improving the talent,” Allen said, before adding, “I think we’ve turned the page and we’re in a new era here …” Oregonian

Olshey is quick to credit his staff for the Blazers’ roster rebuild. He’s eager to praise Stotts and his coaching staff. But make no mistake, this is Olshey’s team now. His imprint, his vision — his voice — is everywhere. “I think every general manager has their own personality, they have their own way of going about business,” Stotts said. “But I think what Neil has shown here is that he is definitely the leader of the basketball division. And things are done the way they are done because of him. He has a high basketball acumen for evaluating basketball talent, I think he understands how to put a team together, he understands the league. He’s knowledgeable, he knows his stuff and he has us heading in the right direction.” Oregonian

Away from the basketball sanctuaries of the Moda Center and the Blazers’ practice facility, Olshey has had a challenging transition from Los Angeles. His wife, Leslie Radakovich, put a successful career as a television producer on hold when they relocated the family, and Olshey’s two young sons, Connor and James, encountered a culture shock when they left the only home they’d ever known. They grew up near the picture-perfect sand in Manhattan Beach, dipping their toes in the Pacific Ocean whenever they wanted. In the snap of a finger, those sunny beaches were replaced with rain and mountains, and their customary school clothes — Crocs, board shorts and T-shirts — became pants, sweaters and raincoats. Olshey often laments the loss of his beloved sun and cracks jokes about being Vitamin D deficient. Oregonian

Former Georgia Tech basketball standout Javaris Crittenton must remain home every night until his murder trial after allegedly intimidating the prosecutor of his case, a judge ruled Thursday. And the recording of a jailhouse phone call in which Crittenton claimed to want to beat up the prosecutor was key in the judge’s decision to modify the former NBA player’s bond conditions. The 29-year-old Crittenton, an alleged member of the Crips gang, is awaiting trial in the 2011 shooting death of Atlanta mother of four Julian Jones. He’s also accused of shooting at Trontavious Stephens days earlier – both cases of misdirected retribution at a rival gang, authorities said. Crittenton is charged with murder, felony murder, criminal attempted murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, gun possession during the commission of a felony and participation in a criminal street gang. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

In addition to forcing Crittenton to remain in his home from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. each day until trial, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Shawn Ellen LaGrua ordered him back on a 24-hour ankle monitor. He’d been off the monitor since March. She also required him to get her permission to travel, and forbade him from coming within 100 yards of the Fulton County courthouse without a scheduled hearing there. She ordered that he be picked up immediately by law enforcement should his ankle monitor indicate any malfunctions or lack of connection. Following the emergency hearing that ended just before 7 p.m. on Thursday, LaGrua ordered Crittenton to be in his Fayette County home no later than 8 p.m. that evening and to stay there until he could arrange with his attorney Brian Steel to set up the ankle monitor. “Your actions in this case have been inexcusable,” LaGrua said of the incident and subsequent phone conversation. “Based on the phone call, it was clear that was his intention.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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