HoopsHype rumors

May 12, 2014 | 10:47 PM ET Update
May 12, 2014 | 08:07 PM ET Update

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka will not be fined or suspended for hitting Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin in the groin, a league source told Yahoo Sports. Ibaka hit Griffin in the groin with his fist early in the Thunder's 101-99 loss to the Clippers in Game 4 of a second-round series on Sunday. Ibaka said the incident was an accident because he was pushed from behind by Thunder teammate Kendrick Perkins. Yahoo! Sports

That Michigan State-injuries-and-illnesses thing is following Adreian Payne into his professional career. Payne has mononucleosis and won't be able to participate in workouts or basketball-related activities at the NBA predraft camp in Chicago this week, his agent, Mark Bartelstein, said in a phone interview. Payne is still planning to attend the combine for interviews and medical checks. Bartelstein said he isn't sure how long Payne has had mono but that it has been improving lately. "We think he'll be fully healthy in a couple weeks," Bartelstein said of Payne, who has been living in Chicago and preparing for the June 26 NBA draft. Payne missed seven games as a senior at MSU with a foot sprain. Detroit Free Press

The interim CEO hand-picked by the NBA to run the Los Angeles Clippers said Monday he's confident the league will succeed in forcing a sale of the team owned by Donald Sterling since 1981. Dick Parsons arrived in Los Angeles and met with management and staff of the Clippers. Sterling has been banned for life by the NBA and fined $2.5 million after recordings of him making racist comments surfaced. "My personal belief is the league will prevail, which means there will be an ownership change," Parsons said during a news conference at Staples Center. "A prolonged legal battle is in no one's interest, certainly not the league's. I would hope we could avoid that." USA Today Sports

New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson was sidelined during the draft because of a knee injury. But he’s expected to be back on the field in time to present New Orleans’ 2018 Super Bowl bid next week at the NFL owners’ meetings in Atlanta. Benson, 86, underwent a 45-minute procedure to repair a torn medial meniscus in his left knee on Friday, according to the Saints. He was home later in the day and continued to monitor the Saints’ draft by phone. Saints general manager Mickey Loomis and coach Sean Payton called him before each pick. ESPN.com



The U.S. of A. don't have the monopoly on basketball talent this side of the Atlantic. Plenty of Canadians, Argentinians and Brazilians have made a significant impact on the game in the last few years. Just check this list.

May 12, 2014 | 06:04 PM ET Update

For quite sometime it was evident that despite being a free agent this summer, Bojan Bogdanovic was not eager to leave Europe. After all he even say it to Eurohoops when we met him at OAKA. According to sources both in Turkey and on the other side of the Atlantic the Croatian forward is ready to sign a new contract with Fenerbahce/ Ulker for the next two or three seasons. EuroHoops.net

May 12, 2014 | 05:32 PM ET Update

Q: You’ve been criticized for the contract extension that was given to Bryant. How does it factor into the way you build this team over the next two seasons, with salary cap implications and so on, and how would things look different if you’d given him less money? Mitch Kupchak: When we gave Kobe the extension, we took a lot of factors into consideration, including the factors you just mentioned. We felt it was the thing to do. We’re still in a position to be a big player in the free agent market. Signing Kobe when we did, we felt, gave us one of the top two or three free agents that would be available this summer. We had the rare opportunity to get that done and not have to wait until July 1. Everybody can debate whether they would have waited or not, but our mindset was: ‘This is somebody we can get done now, and we still have a chance to be a player financially with free agency.’ Cap space is valuable and you don’t want to misuse it. You do have to use it, but you don’t have to use it going forward unless you want to. NBA.com

Q: Does that pull any focus away from the draft? Mitch Kupchak: Yeah, but as you mentioned, May 20 is the lottery, and it’s hard to focus 100% on the draft until you know where you’re drafting. If the stars all line up and you get No. 1 instead of No. 9, there’s a difference, and it’s impossible to schedule workouts because the agents won’t cooperate until they know where you’re drafting. That part of it has proved uneventful, and probably won’t change until the 20th. We are working on setting up some interviews, and we’ve been successful, but you’re not going to really get moving on it until the agents know where you’re drafting. NBA.com

Q: So if an agent thinks his client is going to be drafted in the Top 3, he’s not going to arrange a workout with a team drafting sixth or seventh? Mitch Kupchak: That’s right. Every agent has a different approach to his player. For example, if he thinks his player is a top 10 or 15 pick, he may be happy with that and not work out for anybody. Having said that, players that may or may not be first round picks want to come work out, because they want to prove to you that they’re better than where they are projected. They may not be happy being a projected second round pick and feel they have nothing to lose. The draft order is the most important thing right now. NBA.com

Q: To shift over to the coaching vacancy, does having only three players on the roster right now for next season change how you approach the hire? Mitch Kupchak: You do take into consideration the make up of your roster. Although I won’t rule out hiring a coach prior to the lottery on May 20, I think it’s likely that we don’t, because that’s really the first step in terms of additional information for this franchise. Let’s find out what kind of pick we have. That may even help us decide what direction to go with for our coach. It will be a consideration. NBA.com

A source with knowledge of the sale process said Monday the sale of the Milwaukee Bucks to New York investors Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens "is moving quickly." "It's possible there will be news later this week," the source said. Former senator Herb Kohl is selling the team he has owned since 1985 to Lasry and Edens for $550 million, which includes assumed debt. In addition, Lasry and Edens have committed $100 million toward the cost of a new arena, as has Kohl. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel


Who's the man of the minute in the NBA Twittersphere? Find out here who's getting the most mentions at any given moment.

May 12, 2014 | 04:16 PM ET Update

Marc Stein: Question sure to be asked: How much consideration will Mike D'Antoni/Vinny Del Negro get in Cleveland after working w/David Griffin in PHX. And Clippers assistant coach Alvin Gentry, for that matter, is a very natural target for new GM David Griffin after their PHX stint together. Gentry was considered strongly for Memphis job that went to Dave Joerger and is likely to get another HC shot after his Phoenix success. Twitter @ESPNSteinLine


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May 12, 2014 | 03:56 PM ET Update

David Griffin has been named General Manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Mike Brown has been released as Head Coach, the team announced today. Griffin had been acting General Manager since February 6th, 2014. Brown was hired as Head Coach on April 24th, 2013. NBA.com

“This is a very tough business. It pains all of us here that we needed to make the difficult decision of releasing Mike Brown. Mike worked hard over this last season to move our team in the right direction. Although, there was some progress from our finish over the few prior seasons, we believe we need to head in a different direction. We wish Mike and his family nothing but the best,” said Gilbert. NBA.com

“Our ownership group is looking forward to David Griffin leading the basketball side of our business. We interviewed several strong candidates for the GM position including Griff. We chose David as our GM because we believe he is the best person to lead our franchise at this critical time and into the future. David brings over two decades of experience. He knows the ins and outs of this league as well as anyone and is also an outstanding talent evaluator. More importantly, he is a General Manager who is aligned with our culture and philosophy which is the foundation of how we do business. David is not only passionate about his own job but also cares deeply about the success of everyone around him. His presence alone creates an infectious positive environment with players, coaches, front office people and even our fan base. We already saw some progress in the short time David led our basketball side in the latter part of this past season. Clearly, we have substantial work ahead of us and I am confident that Griff will play an essential part of the growth and success of our organization,” said Dan Gilbert, Majority Owner of the Cavaliers. NBA.com

LeBron James continues to be the leader in Player Efficiency Rating in the 2014 NBA Playoffs with a mark of 31.2. Russell Westbrook ranks second with 25.6, followed by Chris Paul (24.6), LaMarcus Aldridge (23.8) and Kevin Durant (23.8). Paul George ranks sixth at 23.0, followed by Blake Griffin (22.3), Andray Blatche (22.2), Chris Andersen (21.8) and Tim Duncan (21.4). RealGM

Jared Zwerling: Roger Mason Jr. also told me the player union's priority at this point is to find a new executive director by the start of next season. Mason: "Somebody who can look directly across from Adam Silver & be just as smart, just as innovative & bring more to the table than him." Twitter @JaredZwerling


Who's the man of the minute in the NBA Twittersphere? Find out here who's getting the most mentions at any given moment.

May 12, 2014 | 01:39 PM ET Update

So, it’s clear the Celtics could use a center. Sullinger’s father, Satch Sullinger, explains just how big a priority that is to Boston. Sullinger’s father, via ABC 6: “Next year, I think he’s going to get finally get to play his true position of power forward. And so, at that point, he’s going to come home and he’s going to trim down and shed some pounds, so he gets a quicker step and a little more mobility. Because they’ve kind of promised him that they’re going to get a center.” Sullinger has played well when healthy, 13.3 points and 8.1 points per game last season. If he loses weight, that could help him avoid injury. NBCSports.com

The Los Angeles Lakers have announced their 2014-15 preseason schedule and ticket information. The eight-game preseason slate features games in four Southern California locations against the Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz as well as the finale in Las Vegas against the Sacramento Kings. NBA.com

KK Feni Indistrija announced the signing of Mychal Ammons for the next two seasons, as Sportando anticipated. The rookie comes from South Alabama where he averaged 9.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Sportando

Shaquille O’Neal can add a new title to his LinkedIn profile: “Children’s book author.” The retired basketball player will author a new series of books called Little Shaq for early readers. It will be based on O’Neal’s childhood and feature a series of adventures of a young Shaq and his cousin Barry. “I am excited to be working with Bloomsbury on this project that will reach young, independent readers,” O’Neal said in a statement. “Education is a cause that is very important to me and I love that this series will combine reading with my love of basketball. It’s a slam dunk for literacy!” The first book is scheduled to be published in 2015. For The Win



Just like everybody else, NBA players are spending more and more time on social media sites and photo-sharing services. Check all the pictures they are posting on Instagram, Twitter and more here.

May 12, 2014 | 12:13 PM ET Update

Darren Wolfson: One other #Twolves note this a.m.: Shaun Livingston will be on their FA radar. Nets can only pay so much to keep. Flip has history w/ him. Twitter @DarrenWolfson

If the NBA can’t pry loose the Clippers franchise from estranged owner Donald Sterling—despite the best efforts of the league to remove the team from his control—there will be consequences in terms of personnel, multiple player agents told Sporting News. “You have to appreciate all that the NBA has done in this situation, what Adam Silver and the other owners are trying to do,” one prominent agent said, requesting anonymity because of possible future interactions with the team. “They came down hard on the guy, as they should have. "But I know I have players who just won’t go there now, not until Sterling is gone completely. If there is even a chance that you’re going to help that guy make even one dime, a lot of guys are not going to go play there. It is going to be something they will have to deal with when July comes around.” Sporting News

That’s where things get dicey for the NBA—which appointed respected executive Dick Parsons as the Clippers’ interim CEO on Friday—and its players. It is unlikely that players under contract with the Clippers would have any recourse to break their deals, because technically, the Clippers are under control of the league at this time. But free agents will have a choice. “I don’t think the whole thing winds up with Sterling back in charge, that is just hard to imagine,” another agent told SN. “There’s the chance, though. There’s a chance you wind up working for Sterling. That’s the problem. "And there is also a feeling like, ‘Hey, the league let this guy do his thing for 30 years and they’re only doing something about him now? Why would I go there?’” Sporting News

Business magnate Manny V. Pangilinan also known as MVP, said during his speech at the 2014 Ad Summit, shown an interest in buying a minority stake of the California-based National Basketball Association (NBA) team - Los Angeles Clippers. The team may be up for sale following the publicized racist rants its owner, Donald Sterling. Being said that, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver imposed the toughest sanctions in NBA history, banning LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life from the NBA and urging the board of governors to force him to sell the aforementioned team. Centrio Times

The real estate billionaire, Sterling, who has the longest tenure as owner in the history of NBA, bought the franchise for $12.5-million from Irving H. Levin in 1981, but the Clippers' value now has skyrocketed to $575-million, according to Wkipedia. However, PLDT Chairman Pangilinan has tough competitors, as Magic Johnson, Oprah Winfrey, Floyd Mayweather Jr., David Geffen, Larry Ellison, Sean Combs, Oscar de la Hoya, Rick Caruso, Matt Damon, Rick Ross are reportedly also interested in buying the NBA team franchise. “Well, I'm interested in buying a stake in the Clippers. I mean, it’s a good team, I’m sure there will be many interested buyers in the United States,” MVP said. Centrio Times


If the Rumors page is not enough to get your NBA fix, check the Twitter Media page for constant updates on the latest goings on in the league.

May 12, 2014 | 06:54 AM ET Update

Negotiations to finalize an agreement between Steve Kerr and the New York Knicks are progressing toward the final stages, sources close to the talks confirmed to ESPN New York. In the wake of ESPN.com's report Saturday that the Warriors fear Kerr is "too deep" into talks with the Knicks to take the Golden State job, one source told ESPN New York that negotiations between Kerr and the Knicks are "pretty far down the road." Another league source with knowledge of the talks said Sunday the discussions would "pick up" on Monday. ESPN.com

Durant declined to give Paul credit for slowing him down, saying Paul's defense "didn't do nothing." Rivers said the strategy was "desperate coaching." "Yesterday as a staff we said Durant was beating us with the dribble," Rivers said. "If you put a guard on him, you could make him more of a post-up player. … He just missed shots." Yahoo! Sports

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling says he's sorry but feels he was "baited" to make racist comments, nearly two weeks after the NBA fined him and banned him for life for his remarks in a recorded conversation. "When I listen to that tape, I don't even know how I can say words like that. ... I don't know why the girl had me say those things," he told CNN's Anderson Cooper in an exclusive interview set to air on Monday. "You're saying you were set up?" Cooper asked. "Well yes, I was baited," Sterling said. "I mean, that's not the way I talk. I don't talk about people for one thing, ever. I talk about ideas and other things. I don't talk about people." CNN.com

"I'm not a racist," Sterling told Cooper. "I made a terrible, terrible mistake. And I'm here with you today to apologize and to ask for forgiveness for all the people that I've hurt." Asked by Cooper why he took so long to say he's sorry, Sterling said he was "emotionally distraught." "The reason it's hard for me, very hard for me, is that I'm wrong. I caused the problem. I don't know how to correct it," he said. CNN.com

Bob Cousy has done his best to fight back his tears since the death of his beloved wife, Missie, at age 85 last September. "I still have my bad moments," the Celtics great said last week from his Salisbury Street home. "I do well for a couple of weeks and then I start bawling again." A little more than a month after Missie's death from a stroke, Cousy made his annual two-day drive to West Palm Beach, Fla., for the winter, but for the first time he did it alone. After driving back to Worcester with his daughter Ticia and arriving at his home Sunday afternoon, Cousy broke down in tears again. "I'm an emotional person anyway. The first 30 years I wasn't much of a husband," said Cousy, who traveled a lot earlier in his marriage, first while helping the Celtics win six NBA championships in his 13 seasons and later as a coach, "but the last 33 years I paid attention and we had a very close relationship. I didn't expect it (her death). Frankly, I thought I'd go first." Worcester Telegram & Gazette

No. 14 is Cousy's retired number with the Celtics. "With every day that goes by," Cousy said, "I go longer and longer without getting weepy about it (Missie's death), but I can't control it. I don't know when it's going to happen. That's why I have become pretty much a recluse." Cousy is not looking for sympathy. "Everybody has lost loved ones," he said, "and people who are close to them. I certainly don't want to be out there being looked upon as a victim. So the best way to avoid that is to not go out. I've always been that way when I'm hurting. Let me grieve by myself. Let me crawl in my hole and deal with it." Worcester Telegram & Gazette



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.


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