HoopsHype rumors

November 13, 2013 | 10:56 PM ET Update

Nuggets coach Brian Shaw expected to talk with Faried about it all prior to Wednesday night’s game against the Lakers. The coach is no stranger to trade talk and being traded himself. Shaw was traded four times in his career. Shaw called the Faried-to-New York trade rumor “exactly what it is; it’s a rumor.” Denver Post

Faried ‘on the block’ rumors first started at the beginning of the season. Asked whether he was worried about the impact of it all on his young star, Shaw nodded. “A little bit,” he said. “He’s young, and I think he’s impressionable. As a player, sometimes you take it personal and it can affect you. I haven’t been around him enough to know how mentally tough he is to deal with something like this, or when it’s happened before. But any kind of assistance I can give him to calm him down, I want to be there to do that for him.” Denver Post

“It’s always going to come up. Obviously it means that people view you as an asset. But you just have to, every single day you come in, you only can control what you’re doing right here and right now. You have a game, play to the best of your ability. All that stuff is out of our control anyway. I found out, the first time I got traded, I found out via voice mail on my answering machine. So, I’m looking for him to have a conversation just to let him know to try to block that out. As easy as it is to say, it’s not always that easy to do. Just block it out and do what you normally do.” Denver Post

Free agent Sam Young has signed a contract with the Sydney Kings of the National Basketball League in a deal that contains an NBA escape clause, agent Joel Bell told RealGM. “Sam had other options, but this one made the most sense and will pay him as the highest player in the league,” Bell said. Young can opt out of his deal up until the start of Sydney’s playoffs to join an NBA team, a significant provision that swayed the 28-year-old’s decision. RealGM

Eric Smith: Rudy Gay introduced last during the #Raptors intros in Memphis. Announcer said "Welcome back Rudy Gay"...met by mix of boos/cheers. #RTZ Twitter @Eric__Smith

Most talent evaluators describe Wiggins as one of the most athletic players they’ve ever seen, which separates him from the rest of the pack. The belief is that Wiggins can improve his jump shot and fundamentals as he continues to develop, but that you can’t teach once-in-a-generation athleticism like Wiggins’ possesses. He’s incredibly explosive and quick, which is why he has so much success when he gets out in transition. One scout pointed out that it would be very difficult for a team to pass on Wiggins at No. 1 overall given that he can dominate a game on both ends of the floor (he’s a terrific defender) and has more upside than just about any prospect since Kevin Durant entered the league back in 2007. HoopsWorld

Talent evaluators draft based on projections and how they believe a player will grow in the decade after he hears his name called on draft night. When discussing Wiggins’ ceiling, one scout said that he’ll at least be a perennial All-Star, with the potential be one of the league’s top stars. Because all eyes are on Wiggins and he’s expected to take over every game he’s playing in, it’s easy to forget that Wiggins is often the youngest player on the court. He was born in 1995 and is just 18 years old – making him more than 10 years younger than LeBron James. HoopsWorld

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS
IN JAZZ HISTORY
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Karl Malone and John Stockton are followed by a player whose jersey was just recently retired by the Jazz and another one that gets booed when he returns to Salt Lake City.

November 13, 2013 | 07:51 PM ET Update

Luke Ridnour traveled to Orlando to rejoin the team but is not ready to return to the lineup, Drew said. The veteran point guard has not played yet this season after experiencing back spasms late in the preseason. "Yeah, there was a Luke Ridnour sighting today," Drew said. "He just came in to join the team and get some work in. He won't play. "He's at the point now to where he can kind of move around. But it's good to see him. It was good to see him walking straight. That's a good sign." Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Parker has done well in his first two NCAA games, combining for 49 points on 17-28 shooting from the field and 7-10 shooting from three-point range. While he has played well thus far, scouts aren’t sure if Parker will be able to duplicate his success in the NBA. Some scouts view Parker as a “tweener” who doesn’t have a body that blows you away. One scout described him “flabby” and added that he’d be “scared to take him without knowing how his body will develop.” This scout believes Parker’s body could keep him from climbing ahead of Wiggins, Randle and others on draft night and worries that he’ll struggle in the same way that offensive-minded tweeners like Michael Beasley, Derrick Williams and, most recently, Anthony Bennett have struggled in the NBA. HoopsWorld

So the NBA and Adidas are releasing new short-sleeved jerseys for players, and replicas for fans, too. The professional uniforms have the same tank-top base of a traditional jersey but with sleeves attached using stretchy fabric, so as not to inhibit the player's movement. The new style will get a lot of exposure come Christmas, when it will be worn by the 10 teams playing that day, including the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks. The Golden State Warriors first tried sleeved jerseys for a few games last season and have worn them since. And more teams, including the Los Angeles Clippers, are adding sleeved jerseys into their uniform rotation. Wall Street Journal

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS
IN ROCKETS HISTORY
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Average height of the main three players is 6-foot-10. It's truly a big man franchise.

November 13, 2013 | 06:22 PM ET Update

The Orlando Magic fined forward Glen Davis for his actions in an Orlando motel room over the weekend, the team announced Wednesday. The amount of the fine was not disclosed. Davis was recorded while he destroyed a computer in a motel room. The incident was reported first by TMZ.com, which recovered and published video Tuesday morning. "We will not tolerate or condone this type of behavior," Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said. "As we have stated repeatedly, when a player puts on an Orlando Magic uniform, he is representing something much greater than himself. We expect our players to uphold a certain standard of conduct and character at all times." USA Today Sports

Q: Is it more of the offense efficiency or the defense that’s been the most problem right now? Randolph: Our defense and our offense too so it’s a combination of things. We just got to keep on working because we’re not the same team as last year but we’re trying to get there. We got the same personnel so we just got to get there and stay positive and keep pushing and pushing. Q: Is it a chemistry problem? Randolph: I wouldn’t say that. It’s a number of things. We got to keep on playing. I don’t want to say it’s one specific thing it’s a combination of things. 3 Shades Of Blue

Fate – in the form of a broken ankle – has delayed the start to his NBA career. But Larkin has a game plan now for getting it under way. Asked if he had a target date yet for his first game, Larkin said: “Um, my target and their (the Mavericks’) target are probably different. We got a couple practices next week. I would like to play the 20th against Houston. That’s when I’d like to play.” Dallas Morning News

Rick Bonnell: I'm told Josh McRoberts will miss Celtics game for personal reasons. Look for Anthony Tolliver to start so Zeller sticks to the norm. Twitter @rick_bonnell

SOCIAL MEDIA VIDEOS:
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Adding to our social media tools, you can now watch here all the videos NBA players are posting online – including those by Nate Robinson, Iman Shumpert and JR Smith, of course.

   

November 13, 2013 | 04:53 PM ET Update

However, the Denver Post reported Wednesday the Nuggets have little interest in sending Faried, a Newark native, to the Knicks for Shumpert. The Nuggets just lost center Javale McGee to a stress-fracture injury, giving them a lack of depth up front. New York Post

The Post had reported in July that Knicks coach Mike Woodson was ticked at Shumpert for leaving Las Vegas after just one summer-league game to go to China. Knicks owner James Dolan was also said to be irate because Shumpert originally didn’t want to show up to Las Vegas and threatened to have him traded. Woodson has been overly critical of Shumpert since preseason, calling him a young player with a lot of room to grow offensively. Woodson has also made it a point to say repeatedly how stacked the Knicks are at the shooting-guard position, calling it at times “a logjam.’’ New York Post

The Bulls worked out veteran swingman Reggie Williams on Tuesday, according to a source. Williams has been in the league for four years and is a career 37 percent shooter from beyond the arc. The Chicago Tribune had earlier reported news of the workout. ESPN.com

No other team this season comes close to having three big men in that scoring category. "(Coach Frank) Vogel, as well as the players, understand their strengths, so he gets them the ball where they can have the most success," the scout said. "It's a simple game when you do that. West and Scola are great pick-and-pop bigs. Hibbert is primarily a deep roll man but can make the 15-footer. Pick your poison." Bleacher Report

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS
IN NUGGETS HISTORY
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Carmelo Anthony is way up there, but can't beat two legends from the run-and-gun teams of the 80's.

November 13, 2013 | 03:41 PM ET Update

The New York Knicks continue to engage in trade talks with the Denver Nuggets on a potential Iman Shumpert-for-Kenneth Faried trade, according to sources close to the process. But sources told ESPN.com that multiple teams have approached the Knicks with interest in Shumpert and said New York remains undecided about whether to trade its coveted perimeter defensive specialist. The New York Daily News reported earlier Wednesday that Shumpert-for-Faried trade talks "have intensified" but added that no deal was imminent. ESPN.com

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS
IN CELTICS HISTORY
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How bright is Boston's history? Well, the first 19 players in the list won NBA titles with the team.

November 13, 2013 | 02:27 PM ET Update

Iman Shumpert standout has heard his name in the rumors as of late, but says he isn’t letting the trade whispers impact his play. Shumpert believes the rumors clearly show he has value around the league. “If it’s going to happen, it will happen,” Shumpert told HOOPSWORLD on the prospect of being traded. “I’m young. I’m an asset. So I’ll be in the [trade] rumors, I guess.” The Knicks exercised the fourth-year option on Shumpert’s rookie contract back in late October. The guard is on the books for $1.7 million this season and $2.6 million in 2015. HoopsWorld

Last week, the New York Daily News reported Shumpert’s days could be numbered with the Knicks due to the presence of Smith and rookie guard Tim Hardaway Jr. Earlier reports indicate the Knicks’ front office doesn’t value Shumpert, a fan favorite, as much as other teams around the league do. HoopsWorld

Scott Agness: Granger won’t play til he has a few pain-free practices. Vogel says they’re going to need DG to attain their goals No point to let it linger Twitter @ScottAgness

Dwain Price: #Mavs rookie PG Shane Larkin is going through all drills now. Larkin: "It's just a matter of time before I'm out there (in a real games).'' Twitter @DwainPrice

The Sacramento Kings have notified the Guinness Book of World Records that they will attempt to set a new world record for noise in an indoor arena when the team takes on the Detroit Pistons on Nov. 15 on ESPN. Team president and COO Chris Granger joined Comcast SportsNet’s broadcast of the game against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday and gave further details on what to expect during the nationally televised affair. “The chatter’s been increasing and increasing and we’ve been paying attention to it,” Granger said. “We’re going to provide our fans with a platform to make the loudest noise in the history of indoor arenas.” sportsoutwest.com

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS
IN BULLS HISTORY
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Very few doubts with the Top 2, but who comes after Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen?

November 13, 2013 | 01:46 PM ET Update

According to a league source, no deal is imminent, although the struggling Knicks feel they need to make a move to bolster their banged-up front court. Tyson Chandler is out at least one month after breaking his leg last week while both Amar'e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin have been placed on a minutes restriction because if their health. New York Daily News

Smith said he’s now forced into a leadership role after most of last season’s vets are gone. “The last two years, I didn’t have that voice on this team,’’ Smith said. “Some other guys had that voice. Now it’s a good voice to have. “We miss our vets,’’ Smith added. “The difference between Jason Kidd, Kurt Thomas, the Rasheed Wallaces is the communication. Last training camp, we were 100 percent better on our communication skills on the defensive and offensive end. Myself, Melo [Carmelo Anthony], Ray have become the vets. We have to do better policing that.’’ New York Post

It's early but the Heat are still paying attention to the Indiana Pacers, who started the season with eight straight wins. The Pacers are the only unbeaten team in the league, making them an early favorite as the biggest challenger to the Heat's three-year reign atop the Eastern Conference. "Yes, they do get our attention," center Chris Bosh said. "They're playing confident basketball right now but I still feel like we're the champs and we're going to put it together." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

To think, a playground game helped an NBA All-Star improve his craft for the most crucial time of a NBA basketball game. It’s also refreshing to know criticism still fuels an All-Star who has accomplished more than what most NBA players will ever achieve. CSNNW.com

Oklahoma City center Kendrick Perkins has returned to Texas because of the passing of his grandfather and will miss the Thunder's next two games, league sources told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday. Perkins won't play against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday at Staples Center, nor against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night in Oakland, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Yahoo! Sports

J.R. Smith will make the second start of his Knicks career Wednesday night vs. the Hawks when the 2-4 club tries to fulfill owner James Dolan’s guarantee. As expected, a desperate Mike Woodson will go with Smith over point guard Pablo Prigioni. It sets up a three-guard alignment with Smith, Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert. New York Post

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS
IN KNICKS HISTORY
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All the old-timers at the top of the list and (unsurprisingly) few faces from recent seasons.

November 13, 2013 | 12:35 PM ET Update

Jan Vesely finally made his 2013 debut Tuesday night in Dallas, recording no stats in 79 seconds of action. If this is going to be his breakout season, the breaking hasn’t quite started yet. Nevertheless, there’s at least one person extremely enthusiastic about Vesely’s potential. I’m referring, of course, to David Arcas, a writer for El Mundo Madridista.com. In Arcas’s piece about Vesely, we learn that Real Madrid will likely be losing star Nicola Mirotic to the NBA, that the club and Vesely’s agent are willing to negotiate his return to Europe to play for Real, that he’s lost playing time to Kevin Seraphin and Al Harrington, that he doesn’t have the support of his coach or his team, and that there could be competition from Turkish and Russian clubs for Vesely’s services. Washington Post

No surprise here, as the Nets announce they have re-assigned Tornike Shengelia back to Springfield where he will join the Armor's training camp today. Shengelia was called up on Monday in order to join the team in practicing for the troops at Fort Hamilton. NetsDaily

“The first one, I really did get hit in the face,” Harden said. “I’m trying to appeal that right now. I really did get hit in the face, it was just a late reaction.” The NBA’s policy is to issue a warning after a first offense for flopping. A second violation will draw a $5,000 penalty, which was given to Harden for an incident during the Clippers game where he chased a loose ball to the sidelines with the Clippers Blake Griffin. “I don’t want to be known as a flopper or a guy who is looking to get calls, that type of player,” Harden said. “That type of player I’ve never been. It was a bad call.” A successful appeal would mean that Harden wouldn’t owe the NBA any money in fines and would have just one flopping violation to his name. If Harden loses the appeal, though, the next time he would be cited for flopping would be considered a third offense and he would be fined $10,000. CSN Houston

"The makeup of [this] team is different. Last year, I was playing up top with the ball, spreading the floor, creating a lot of mismatches," Anthony said of his spacing. "This year's a little different in terms of the system and the team. But I'm fine. I'll figure it out." Making Bargnani a reserve could unlock Anthony's efficiency and improve the starting lineup's rebounding and bench scoring. Replacing him with Cole Aldrich—whose 26.3% defensive-rebound rate last season dwarfs Bargnani's 9.7% rate this season—would fill a need. And in a game like Wednesday's, against a smaller Atlanta Hawks team, even the idea of using the 6-foot-7-inch World Peace at center could work. Yes, he'd give up five inches to Bargnani, but at 260 pounds, he outweighs the Italian and is a superior low-post stopper and rebounder. Wall Street Journal

But the coach appears committed to the Bargnani-Anthony duo. Of the 144 minutes Bargnani has logged so far, 133 of them have been with Anthony in the game, a rate that's likely climb in Chandler's absence. (It's worth noting here that the Knicks have outscored opponents by 7.2 points per 40 minutes in the time Bargnani has logged without Anthony.) In his defense, Bargnani, despite being a wholly ineffective rebounder, has proved to be a competent rim protector thus far, holding opponents to 46.7% shooting when defending at the rim, according to SportVU player-tracking technology. But the team's strategy of switching on nearly every pick-and-roll play—particularly when Felton is defending—often pulls Bargnani from the basket, putting him in poor position to shadow quicker players. Wall Street Journal

Bless their hearts, the Wizards players seem to feel they’re close to such a leap as well. Here is Marcin Gortat, talking on ESPN 980 last week, when the Wizards had just recorded their first victory of the season. “There’s still a lot of different things that we can improve, and definitely we can be a better team,” he said. “Just because we lost the first three games doesn’t mean we can’t go to the playoffs. This is our main goal, and that’s what we’re gonna focus on….All the older guys gonna take care of the young guys, and we’re gonna make sure that they’re running the stuff the right way….I think we have a great mix of guys. We have a lot of veterans, we have a lot of talented young guys, and bringing every day that energy we had last game. And if we’re gonna play hard, if we’re gonna play like a team then I don’t see any reason why we can’t win 40-plus, maybe 50 games.” Washington Post

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced that Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels and his wife Heidi will receive the Sixers “Heroes Among Us” award tonight, Wednesday, November 12 when the Sixers host the Houston Rockets at the Wells Fargo Center at 7:00 p.m. The Hamels Foundation will receive the net proceeds from the Sixers’ 50/50 raffle tonight. Both Cole and Heidi Hamels will be in attendance to accept the award on the Wells Fargo Center court during the third quarter, first timeout during tonight’s game. NBA.com

Michael Jordan recently played beer pong at the Ritz-Carlton in Miami. Last night various pictures (here, here, here) of Jordan committing party fouls by having his elbow over the edge of the table started making the rounds. Not that anyone said anything to him. Presumably, every image shows Jordan taking the final shot even though stats show that LeBron makes a higher percentage of last cups. The Big Lead

November 13, 2013 | 09:00 AM ET Update

Rockets center Dwight Howard has been a target this year for his sub-par free throw shooting. Opponents have gone to the “hack-a-Dwight” method to put the big man at the line. After another poor performance from the line on Monday night against the Raptors (Howard was 4-of-12), he told reporters he just didn’t want to talk about free throws anymore. “I don’t want to talk about it,” Howard said. “So much has been talked about free throws, just let it go. We talk about it so much, I think about it at the line. I don’t want to think about it. I want to shoot. “That’s what I do in practice. I shoot in practice and I dont miss because I am not thinking about it.” Houston Chronicle

“I get in the game and I think so much that I tend to miss,” Howard said. “The best thing to do is to let it go. If I make it, I make it. If I don’t, it’s not the end of the world. Even if I do miss, I will be out on the other end, playing defense, getting rebounds, blocking shots and paying back for fouling in that way.” Houston Chronicle

So following Saturday's embarrassing home loss to the Boston Celtics that again exposed the Heat's horrible defensive effort to start the season, Miami's marquee players could have shrugged off Spoelstra's hell-raising, chastising session to open Monday's practice in preparation for Tuesday's game against the Milwaukee Bucks. Instead, Spoelstra's voice resonated louder than ever. “The best thing about Spo is he still gives it to us straight. He don't sugarcoat nothing, man,” James said. “If he feels like we're hot-dogging it or not giving our all, he's going to get on us. As a player, you respect that. And we take it.” ESPN.com

But for a night, the Heat were able to change the subject -- and the mood after some deep soul-searching on Monday. “That's been a long 48 hours in this building, but at least we were able to respond with a better game,” Spoelstra said. “I think our guys felt better looking each other in the eyes in the locker room tonight.” ESPN.com

Josh Smith insisted he didn't take an unexpected benching personally Tuesday, and Detroit Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks was equally adamant that it wasn't intended as a message. Smith played just 18 minutes and scored two points in a 113-95 loss to the Golden State Warriors. "Not at all," Cheeks said, when asked if benching the Pistons' biggest offseason acquisition in the season's seventh game was a message. "Like I said, we were just trying to change some things up. It wasn't about sending a message." Booth Newspapers

Martin, the backup battling chronic ankle issues, trashed the Knicks’ performance and said he wishes he could have been let loose on Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter in the disgrace at the Garden. That night, Dolan guaranteed victory in Atlanta on stage at a Manhattan club while playing with his blues band. “Sunday wasn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination not just for me but for the whole organization — to go out there and lay an egg like that on your home floor,’’ Martin said after Tuesday’s practice. “People pay hard-earned money to come see us play. We shouldn’t put a performance like that out there.’’ Woodson explained he didn’t play Martin in Sunday’s game because the score was too lopsided and wanted to stick to the platoon with Stoudemire in which they rotate games. “It wasn’t worth doing it,’’ Woodson said. New York Post

Nowitzki, in his 16th season, now has 25,197 career points. With West’s 25,192 points behind him, Miller’s 25,279 points is reachable likely within the next three to five games. Soon, only 14 players will have scored more points than the big German, and only a handful are safe from Nowitzki’s final charge over the next few seasons. “It’s another great milestone, but for now, got to keep working and that’s really about it,” said a rather subdued Nowitzki, whose re-tooled Mavs improved to 5-3. “Like I always say, all these milestones are great once my career is over.” NBA.com

The relentless Spurs are still coming, alright, and it's not just the Heat that they have in their sights. Their 7-1 record thus far has come in buzzsaw fashion, with San Antonio slicing through the likes of Memphis, the Lakers, Denver, Phoenix, Golden State, New York and Philadelphia while losing only a road game at Portland. And as Green made clear, their strong start has come amid this cloud of disappointment that never truly went away. "It's not easy, man," he told USA TODAY Sports. "I feel like every day, every game that we have now, you'd think (those Finals memories) would go away. But it's always lingering there. Even with the little mistakes, the subtle mistakes here and there, you (think) back to the mistakes that we made in June…We feel like we're preparing for that now, which is good, and I think it's going to help us." USA Today Sports

"You have everybody back, so I figured (that) not much would change (about his role)," Green said. "But some things have changed. Pop's Pop. He does things the way he does them, and you can't predict anything, so you have to roll with however it is he wants things done. You've got to adjust. "He's obviously trying to make me better than what I am. He's picking things here and there for me to work on, wanting me to work on them and get them done faster, better, to have better habits, which is why my leash is not as long as you'd expect it to be. But it's part of the game, part of the business. And if you want to be successful here, you've got to roll with it." USA Today Sports

Pau Gasol underwent an MRI last week that showed a muscle strain in his left foot, the Los Angeles Lakers forward revealed to reporters after his team's 116-95 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday. "I had a strained muscle there," Gasol said. "It's feeling better now. It's feeling a little better." ESPN.com

But significant injuries to his left leg and later to his back and hamstring prevented Nash from providing another encore. Such issues popped up again with persisting nerve pain in his back keeping Nash sidelined for at least the next two weeks, giving frustrated Laker fans to ammunition that the 39-year-old Nash should retire. D’Antoni rolled his eyes and scoffed at it. “We’re not going to debate it or talk about it,” D’Antoni said. “He’s going to try to get ready and try to play. That’s about it. It’s simple for us.” Los Angeles Daily News

“If anybody has followed basketball the last 10 years, you would know he is one of the best in the game and the best ambassador of the game,” D’Antoni said. “If that doesn’t build you equity, so be it. Then you don’t follow sports.” In a brief interview with this newspaper, Nash said said the epidural shot he received Tuesday to reduce inflammation in his nerves was “standard.” Nash will won’t travel with the team Wednesday when the Lakers visit Denver and will rest for what he described as “a couple days” before beginning his rehab. Nash said that process will initially focus on improving his core strength, considering his various nerve ailments in his left hamstring and surgically repaired left leg contributed to his increasing back pain. Los Angeles Daily News

There are so many ways to sum up Jabari Parker's amazing night here. He outplayed Kansas's Andrew Wiggins, the most hyped freshman in many years. He outshined Kentucky's Julius Randle, a contender for the No. 1 pick in the next NBA draft. His Duke coach, Mike Krzyzewski, said Parker was "sensational," and LeBron James (presumably watching both Wiggins and Parker) tweeted "GM's wish the draft was tomorrow," and ... well, it was incredible on so many levels, but the best summary of Parker's night came from Parker himself. I asked him: How would you grade your performance? He said: "C-minus." SI.com

Randle has an array of left-handed post moves, a juggler's hands, and great touch around the rim. You rarely see that kind of talent, and when you do, the guy who has it usually doesn't know what to do with it. Think of all the freaks at the top of drafts in the last 20 years who just turned out to be good or very good NBA players. Randle is different. "He is relentless to score," Dawson said. "He demands the ball. You really don't see that too much, a freshman coming in that hungry to score. But he wants to score on every possession." SI.com

Unsure what worst part of James Dolan's band guarantee is, but Woodson still hasn't come up[with a good quip when asked about it. He had another chance today after practice when The Post asked Woodson if he took the onstage remark more in a flippant way since he was performing with his blues band in a Manhattan club. (Free cover and the drinks were free, courtesy of JD's band). Asked for a second straight day about the Hotlanta guarantee, Woodson said, “You guys are the ones harping on it. I’m the coach. I got a job to do. When I go out to coach, I want guys thinking win. I’ll leave it at that.’’ Leave it at what? Worst part of guarantee quote was Dolan referencing the Rangers won a game "for me'' and the #Knicks didn't win "for me.'' For me? Too much me, myself and I. Of course if Knicks knock off Atlanta, the media can give Dolan the credit. Or not. Sulia

Rod Thorn: I think Jason is as smart as any player I’ve ever been around as far as understanding the game and as far as understanding what you need to do to win. That’s a plus. I think Jason gets instant respect because of who he is and he’ll be a first ballot Hall of Famer. He also has good players on his team, and he’s got veteran players. He is going to be a terrific coach, they are going to have a really good team. You are going to go through times that are difficult and things aren’t going that well. Everybody has to learn how to do that, particularly if you’re a first time coach, but I see nothing but really good things for him. He’s a terrific guy, knows the game, and he’s going to do great. NBA.com

C.J. McCollum: What is your day-to-day schedule like now, being in such a position in terms of controlling the fines? Rod Thorn: I get here anywhere from 8 to 8:30 (a.m.), and we have people that work here who have a series of reports that I go through when I get in. Did we have any flagrant fouls last night? Did we have any technical fouls? Did we have any altercations, fights, anything of that nature? I’ll have a report on all of that. We want to make sure that we’re on top of everything so that’s the first thing I do when I come in. If there is an altercation anywhere, I will always get a phone call, no matter what time it is. If there is an altercation, you interview the players to see what they felt about it and you end up making whatever decision you end up making. Normally we have anywhere from three to five meetings a day on a range of subjects. We’re also involved in international here, we have 18 people that I’m responsible for that work internationally so we get reports from them, talk to them, and see what’s going on in their lives. NBA.com

RT: If you work for the league, you’re thinking about what’s best for the league and how you can grow the business. You’re thinking about a lot of things that may not be just happening today. You don’t care who wins or loses, but you’re thinking about the good of the league. When you work for a team, I would compare it to being in a silo. You’re more concerned with what’s in the best interest of your team and your players, and you tend to live and die with every victory and every loss. You have more instant gratification, or sometimes it’s not gratifying, if you’re with a team that’s not winning, in that there’s feedback every day. Players are getting better, players aren’t getting better; we’re winning, we’re losing. It’s more short-term as far as that goes. The league is more long-term and you don’t care who wins and losses, with a team it’s a little more short-term, and you live and die with wins and losses. NBA.com

CM: Going back to the NBA, how do you think the league has changed since you played and since you have been involved with the NBA up until now? RT: Dramatically. When I came in the league as a 2nd pick, I got a one-year contract, and I had to make the team, it wasn’t guaranteed. There was no other league to play in, nobody played overseas. Our meal money was $8 a day on the road and we traveled commercial, in coach. It was an entirely different league — not nearly as popular, not nearly what it is today. The athletes are so much better today than they were back when I came in the league. It’s much more international, we have 92 international players this year, that’s almost a quarter of the league. There were none in the league at that time I played. Now we’re watched all over the world by 215 countries, we’re popular everywhere. We weren’t even popular in the States at that time. I can recall even when Magic Johnson played, The Finals were tape delayed. They weren’t on live, and that wasn’t that long ago. This league has come an incredibly long way. With the great athletes in this league and how many good young players such as yourself we have coming into the league, I think the future is even greater. NBA.com

An Oklahoma City man is arrested and is facing charges of larceny after police say he tried to steal a wooden stool during an Oklahoma City Thunder game last week. 23-year-old Troy MacBeth was arrested for petty larceny and public drunkenness last on Wednesday, November 5. Police officers say they spotted MacBeth with the wooden used by the Thunder Girls outside the arena on Wednesday. KOKH FOX 25

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS
IN MAGIC HISTORY
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Two dominant big men and a couple of flashy perimeter players top the Magic's list.

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