HoopsHype rumors

November 30, 2013 | 06:17 PM ET Update
November 30, 2013 | 04:12 PM ET Update

Rivers, the coach and head of basketball operations, was impressed by Odom’s attitude and condition – “He was actually in pretty good shape, and that surprised me” – when they met Nov. 15 at Clippers headquarters. No further visits are planned, Rivers said, but he has moved the process forward by talking with Phil Jackson, Odom’s former coach with the Lakers, and Vinny Del Negro, Odom’s coach last season with the Clippers before Odom became a free agent. “I’m hoping if things work out, yeah,” Rivers said Friday at Sleep Train Arena, where the Clippers beat the Kings 104-98. “But I just don’t know. I know there’s other teams involved, I think. I honestly haven’t focused on it a lot. But he’s somebody that I’ve always liked, and I like him more now after hearing from Phil Jackson to Vinny to all the players the type of guy he is in the locker room. When I hear that stuff, without saying exactly what I heard, you want him in your locker room.” NBA.com

The reigning NBADL champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers just added another major piece to their puzzle as they look to duplicate some of that same success this year as well. Tim Ohlbrecht, the 25 year old German center, who was signed midseason by the affiliated Houston Rockets last season, has returned to the D-League. The big man began last season with the Vipers, but quickly climbed up the ranks as he signed with Houston. Always a squad to take full advantage of the minor league system, the Rockets still had Ohlbrecht spend a decent amount of time in Rio Grande Valley, assigning back and forth between both teams throughout the year. Ridiculous Upside

Rockets Forward Omri Casspi is leaving CAA's Steven Heumann to hire Dan Fegan as new agent, Sportando has learned. Fegan, President of Relativity Sports Group also reps Casspi's teammates Dwight Howard and Chandler Parsons. CEO and agent at RSG Happy Walters told Sportando, "Omri told us he wants to sign with us, but hasn't actually signed yet. We are excited to work with him. Casspi is having a good season and we will do some good things with him off the court." Sportando

After Tobias Harris encountered a setback in his return from a high-ankle sprain, the Orlando Magic forward received a second MRI on his lower left leg and sought a second medical opinion. The timetable for his return to the court remains in doubt, but it seems like he won’t be playing again in the immediate future. “High-ankle sprains take time, and everybody’s healing timeline is different,” Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said Saturday. “And, right now, Tobias is working through that and trying to figure [that] out. When he feels his ankle is right, he’ll be ready to play. So, our stance right now is to be precautious and make sure that we don’t rush him back.” Orlando Sentinel

It looks like Charlotte Bobcats small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will be back to play against the NBA champion Miami Heat Sunday, after Kidd-Gilchrist missed Friday’s victory over the Milwaukee Bucks with plantar fasciitis. Certainly they need him, matched against Miami’s LeBron James, last season’s league most valuable player and probably the most versatile offensive weapon in the NBA. Kidd-Gilchrist fully participated in practice Saturday before the team flew to Miami for a 6 p.m., Sunday tip-off at American Airlines Arena. Coach Steve Clifford said he plans to start Kidd-Gilchrist unless there’s some unexpected setback between now and the game. Charlotte Observer

The woman was walking behind the Bucks’ bench, and was hit on the head. Henderson apologized to her when it first happened, but was rattled by video of the accident that he viewed after the game. “I hit her pretty hard. I went over and apologized to her, but after looking at that clip enough times, I need to apologize some more,’’ Henderson told the Observer at practice Saturday. The Bobcats made sure she got medical attention and gave her a pair of signed, game-worn shoes as a gesture. “I saw it hit her pretty square. I didn’t know if she fell or hit her head or anything. It was pretty brutal,” Henderson said. Charlotte Observer


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 30, 2013 | 12:42 PM ET Update

Kyle Korver did not travel with the Hawks to Washington, D.C. Saturday and will miss his third straight game with a rib contusion. Korver stayed behind in Atlanta for more treatment as the team traveled following Friday’s dramatic win over the Mavericks. Not making the trip does not preclude Korver from joining the team for the second game of the road trip in San Antonio Monday. That decision has yet to be made. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Hornacek has mentioned how the off-court decisions were the unexpected part of being a head coach but there has been one in-game aspect that he also did not anticipate. “It’s been surprising how many plays you have to call during timeouts,” Hornacek said. “You think there’s not that many times that you’re going to actually have to call a play, draw something up and do something different. But in the game today, there are so many time outs and in the quarters, you end up drawing up a lot more little wrinkles and stuff like that. I’m learning on the job.” Arizona Republic

“When you play, you learn stuff from coaches,” Hornacek said. “With Jerry (Sloan) and the teams we had, the details you have to do to get to that level — the execution, the reads you have to make. Going through that and being professional every day and not just coming out and thinking you’re going to show up and win games. You try to stress those things to these young guys. “The biggest thing is not get frustrated with the guys. We’re a relatively inexperienced team. We have good stretches and we have bad stretches. During those bad stretches, I try to stay calm and not get frustrated with them.” Arizona Republic

Michael Jordan and wife Yvette Preito are expecting their first child together, as first reported by US Weekly. The couple married in a star-studded affair seven months ago. Jordan, 50, has three children from his previous marriage to Juanita Venoy, ranging in age from 19 to 24. The Big Lead


Only four Hall of Famers, but plenty of fantastic names in the Top 50 of the storied franchise.

November 30, 2013 | 10:02 AM ET Update

It’s not only Kidd’s leadership that is missed, Anthony said. The Knicks had cagey veterans that made them the oldest club in NBA history last season. “That makeup of the team was different [last year],’’ said Anthony, who lost another homecoming game in Denver. “With J-Kidd, he was a leader in his own right. He wasn’t a vocal leader like a Rasheed [Wallace] or Kurt Thomas. He was leader by example on the court. His hard work, his play, everyone fed off that. And everyone led in their own way. Now we do miss that — J-Kidd, Kurt, Kurt and Rasheed. Last year as a team we were more synchronized than right now due to chemistry, due to having fun, due to just having one another’s back.’’ New York Post

Anthony shot 8-of-22, going cold down the stretch and missing his final four shots. Foye played great defense and replays were inconclusive about whether he got Anthony’s hand, along with the ball. But Anthony walked off the court without a complaint and didn’t mount one afterward. “I didn’t get it done,’’ Anthony said in a rare moment of taking full blame for a loss. “That’s it. My teammates did a great job of getting us in that position, giving me a chance to tie a game or go for the win. I didn’t pull through tonight. I’ll take that one.’’ New York Post

Anthony’s late-game performances have become a source of concern. This statistic says it all: He’s one for his last 15 on game-winning or game-tying shots in the final 30 seconds. “We did everything coming down the stretch to win the game,’’ said Anthony, who never has experienced an eight-game slide. “I didn’t pull it through for us. I’ll take this one. “Once I looked and saw I had a smaller guy on me, my thing was just to shoot over him. I know what I wanted to do and the spot I wanted to get to. It just didn’t happen. I didn’t complete the mission today.’’ New York Post

Problem was, he was stuck on the bench behind Ron Artest at small forward. He also was primarily a low-post scoring threat at the time, and Jermaine O’Neal had first dibs on that job. Seemingly destined for a reserve role for seasons to come, he asked team president Donnie Walsh for a trade. To this day, it’s his greatest regret. It’s the same sentiment now voiced by Davis, who also sought a trade in search of a starting opportunity and was dealt to Toronto, but now wishes he had stayed put. “It’s one of those things, you don’t know how good you got it until you’re gone,” he said. “This is a consistent organization that always did everything the right way. You kind of take those things for granted. But I didn’t know. “I tell people all the time, I could have been a lifetime Pacer. I think I had enough people here who liked me, I could have been like Jeff Foster. But I wanted to test my wings and see if they could fly.” Pacers.com

The Nets are a basketball calamity of the highest order, co-authors of a New York basketball season in desperate need of that most New York of sporting creations, the do-over. “We’re not just losing,” Nets guard Tyshaun Taylor said of his team, though he could well have been speaking for the Knicks as well. “We’re getting killed.” New York Post

Nineteen sounds like a disgraceful margin. But at the half, the Nets were on pace to lose by 52. It was 66-40, and Kidd had seen enough. He announced the starters for the second half. Only one of them, Brook Lopez, had started the game. To the other starters, he offered warm-up suits and a cool, cold assurance. “We’ll see how it goes.” The view was only slightly better, but at least everyone in black broke a sweat. That’s a start. It’s pathetic, sure. But it is a start. “A lot of guys are frustrated,” said Andray Blatche, one of the exiled. “A lot of guys are embarrassed.” New York Post

Players like Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks and Kris Humphries have, however, had to figure out a way to deal with a situation that is less than ideal with all three looking at free agency at the end of the year. For the most part, they have been professional about it, even when it’s gnawed at them inside. "Your job title doesn’t say you’re going to play," Bogans said before Friday night’s game against the Cavaliers. "I know what it takes to be in this league, to stick around. I’m just trying to help MarShon out. It’s really tough on him being younger. I’m helping him stay ready, so when he gets called he’s making the most of his opportunity." MetroWest Daily News

"I just try to play as hard as I can when I’m out there," Humphries said. "Not focus on how much I’m playing, if I’m getting plays, getting the ball — those kinds of things. It’s simpler when you break it down in your mind as: ‘This is your job. Go do it. Play hard.’ MetroWest Daily News

The Thunder played the second half without Kendrick Perkins, who suffered a dislocated finger. That's usually no big deal, except Gran Torino teamed with Ibaka to let the Warriors have little in the paint. Golden State took advantage of rookie center Steven Adams, who played in Perkins' stead. “There's no question they're an exciting team and they're tough to guard,” Brooks said. “Whoever plays either team is going to have their hands full.” Oklahoman

"(Calderon's departure was) an impact, but that's why we're called professionals,' Marion said. "You've got to have guys waiting to come in and step up and play minutes well and come in when we need them. "This is the NBA, it's a sport, guys are going to go down with injuries every day. So the next person's got to be in line and ready to come in and step uo and play. And if you're not ready, then we've got to call on the next guy. And if he's not ready and we've got nowhere else to go, we've got to find something.'' Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Jared Dudley: Shout out to @Jamal Crawford man that n______ nice!!! (Kanye west voice) Gutsy win tonight.. No CP No JJ, but guys stuck together and got the W Twitter @JaredDudley619

DeMarcus Cousins was not a happy camper after being called for a loose ball foul when J.J. Redick fell to the floor on this rebound attempt Friday night. As the game resumed, DeMarcus Cousins had words with Redick, who appeared to tell the Kings forward he was okay and followed up with a handshake gesture, which Cousins blew off. Redick’s reaction following the diss was priceless. beyondthebuzzer.com

SacKings' thoughts on Derrick Williams debut: Michael Malone: "I thought he was terrific. Right away, I said that he's a guy that brings great athleticism and versatility. We had great plays and transitions, we got out and ran. We had some plays at the rim and he was a big part of that. He's only going to get better as he gets his feet set and gets more comfortable." Sulia

Deron Williams didn’t make the trip because of his own sprained left ankle. The point guard will be reevaluated on Monday, meaning he’ll also miss Saturday’s game in Memphis. By then, Williams will have sat six straight games, and eight overall after resting all of training camp and most of the preseason with a sprain to his other ankle. With the injuries to the younger and important Nets, Garnett and Paul Pierce have been asked to shoulder a larger load than anticipated. They’ve failed to rise to the challenge, combining to shoot 37% heading into Houston. New York Daily News

Tyson Chandler believes he’ll return to the New York Knicks' lineup in the semi-near future, but just how soon is open for debate. Coach Mike Woodson said at Friday’s shootaround that his starting center could be back in about two weeks. But Chandler, recovering from a non-displaced fracture of his right fibula, wasn’t quite ready to confirm that as his team prepared to face the Denver Nuggets. “I don’t want to put a timetable on it right now,” Chandler said. “I’m feeling better. I’m starting to do a little more. But we’re just kind of taking it as it goes.” ESPN.com

Chandler insisted there have been no hiccups with his rehab, but the process has to run its due course. In the meantime, Chandler’s Knicks have dropped seven consecutive games. He said it’s been a difficult to sit and watch without being able to help. “From my perspective it’s tough to watch, but the guys out there, we just have to play the game and have fun, trust in one another,” he said. “When times get tough, you have to lean on one another.” ESPN.com

The Trail Blazers were floundering. Lopsided losses were becoming the norm. A promising season was teetering toward a free-fall. Coach Nate McMillan, the man who helped usher Portland past the Jail Blazers era and became the bedrock of a turbulent organization, had lost his team. Sensing the collapse and fearing the worst, McMillan asked then-President Larry Miller for a meeting to discuss the future. “I talked with Larry about where I felt the organization was at and what I thought they needed to do,” McMillan says. “They needed to look at rebuilding before that thing crumbled. And they needed to look at everything, including the head coaching position. With some guys, I knew it wasn’t part of their plan to be there. We had two of our core players — Brandon (Roy) and Greg (Oden) — basically retire. So I told him that he needed to get something for the guys we had, he needed to look at redoing this whole thing before it crumbles." Oregonian

No, his lone regret came one season prior, when the Blazers acquired Wallace in a trade with Charlotte. When Wallace first joined the Blazers, McMillan brought him off the bench because he liked his presence in the second unit and didn’t want to stunt the growth of Batum. But behind the scenes, Wallace sulked, and eventually McMillan relented and shifted Batum to the second unit. “As I look back on it now, if I would have done anything different, I would have kept Nic in the starting lineup,” McMillan says. “Wallace wanted to go in the lineup, and I ended up trying to make that work. But I felt like Nic and Wesley (Matthews) were the right wings for us — and I think right now it’s showing that they’re the right wings. If I had that, to do it over again, I wouldn’t have done that. Nic was the future.” Oregonian

But what about the end? When the lopsided losses mounted? When his team quit on him? “There wasn’t anything I could do,” McMillan says. “Sometimes as a coach you get caught in the perfect storm and you’ve just got to ride it out and see where you land. And that was the perfect storm. It was a lockout season. I had lost Brandon and Greg and we had some guys who were new to the team and I didn’t really know them. I think there were guys that had other agendas and their plan wasn’t to be there long-term. I was just caught in that storm and, again, I had to ride it out.” Oregonian

You have to be on the lookout when you're at a sporting event. At baseball games, a foul ball can come screaming at your head or a bat can go flying into the stands. At football games, you've got to be careful a beer isn't being thrown at the person next to you. When you're at a game between the Charlotte Bobcats and the Milwaukee Bucks, you have to be careful of errant passes flying at your dome. Just ask the lady above who was walking behind the Bucks' bench when Gerald Henderson thought she was open. CBSSports.com

Northern Illinois University Hall of Fame men’s basketball coach Tom Jorgensen, the man who put the Huskies on the national map, into the Top 20, and into such historic college meccas as the Chicago Stadium, Madison Square Garden, and The Palestra, died Friday. Jorgensen, who was 78, passed away in a local hospice after suffering a stroke Monday. Funeral arrangements are pending. Known to his players, NIU fans, and townies as “Jorgy”, Jorgensen produced many significant program precedents – the first 20-victory season (21-4 in 1971-72), first triumph over a Big Ten Conference opponent (Michigan State in 1970-71), first victory over a Top 10 team (Indiana in 1971-72), the first Top 20 ranking (No. 20 on the Associated Press poll in 1971-72), first NBA draft pick (Jim Smith in 1969), first Division I league championship (Midwestern Conference in 1971-72), and first major-college All-American (Jim Bradley in 1971-72). Daily Chronicle

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