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NBA Five Stories: Rookie of the Year goes to...

April 15, 2014 | 10:36 PM ET Update

If Knicks president Phil Jackson is more concerned with 2015 free agency than the 2014-15 season, center Tyson Chandler acknowledged this may not be the right place for him. “I definitely don’t want to waste another season,’’ Chandler said before the Knicks faced the Nets Tuesday at Barclays Center. “I don’t want to waste this season. I’m not into wasting seasons. Your time is too short in this league and I want to win a championship, another one. I’m not into wasting seasons.’’ New York Post

Michigan State junior Branden Dawson announced his decision to remain in school for his senior season on Tuesday. A 6-foot-6 guard/forward from Gary, Ind., Dawson averaged 11.2 points and a team-best 8.3 rebounds for the Spartans in 2013-14. Michigan State Official Athletic Site

The Orlando Magic plan to enter a single-affiliation hybrid relationship with the NBA Development League's Erie BayHawks, people familiar with news told USA TODAY Sports. They requested anonymity because the deal has not been finalized. An official announcement is not expected until late May as the parties finalize details. The Magic will run basketball ops and the ownership will handle business operations and community relations. USA Today Sports

The BayHawks had a hybrid relationship with the New York Knicks until the Knicks decided they wanted to own and run their own D-League team in nearby Westchester County, N.Y. Orlando has wanted to run a D-League team, and when the Knicks ended their relationship with Erie, the Magic began talks with BayHawks ownership. USA Today Sports

REAL ESTATE: WHERE DO PLAYERS OWN HOMES? Getty Images
NBA players spend a lot on real estate. But where and how much exactly? Find out here.

 

April 15, 2014 | 07:41 PM ET Update

A recent story from Forbes revealed that the Raptors have the highest average ticket price for the first round of any team in the NBA, at $370.62. “We took data from hundreds of sellers,” says Forbes contributor Jesse Lawrence, the Founder and CEO of ticket search engine TiqIQ.com, “and in general, found a significant premium over what tickets are being priced at in the box office. In Toronto, tickets sold out quickly, so naturally the prices are significantly higher.” SportsNet

The interviewer asks Griffin if he really thinks the Earth is only 6,000 years old, to which Griffin replies, rather hilariously: I don't want to do the math, but somewhere around there. Now, Griffin is known to be a very witty guy who possesses a dry sense of humor, so it's entirely possible that he was just joking. We really, really hope he was joking. Deadspin.com

The final minute of the fourth quarter lasts five and a half minutes on average. The median length is 4 minutes. At the extreme end, the November 18 game between the Nuggets and Thunder featured a final minute that took twenty minutes to complete. Those last 60 seconds featured two official reviews and a plethora of free throws (12 in total) as the Nuggets repeatedly fouled the Thunder in an unsuccessful attempt to stave off defeat. In the pre-shot clock era, the NBA apparently found late game hacking to be rather unseemly and instituted rules to discourage it. In the final three minutes of regulation, made free throws were followed by a jump ball, rather than automatically awarding possession to the fouling team. Inpredictable.com

Because why not. The chart below summarizes game length by broadcast network (another readily available field in the stats.nba.com data). As you can see, with the exception of NBA TV, nationally broadcast games take 15 minutes longer than local broadcasts. The extra length is presumably due to additional commercials. An examination of the detailed data verifies this presumption, with the biggest gap in length between national and local broadcasts occurring when NBA rules require mandatory timeouts. Inpredictable.com

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS
IN BOBCATS HISTORY
Getty Images

There's no sugarcoating it: It's a bad list where star power is pretty much non-existent. Gerald Wallace, the only All-Star in franchise history, goes to No. 1.

April 15, 2014 | 04:21 PM ET Update

Duke freshman forward Jabari Parker is expected to meet with coach Mike Krzyzewski Tuesday and announce the next day whether or not he will forgo his final three seasons of eligibility to enter the 2014 NBA Draft. Parker is the highest-scoring freshman in Duke history. The 6-foot-8, 235-pound Chicago native averaged 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds while leading the Blue Devils to a 26-9 record, an appearance in the ACC title game and a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Yahoo! Sports

According to The Associated Press, Parker said he will look for the place "where he can grow the most." "I don't know where that is right now," Parker said. "I'll talk to coach about it and lay out my options, but I'm just really glad I get the best of both worlds." Yahoo! Sports

Michigan Basketball: OFFICIAL: @NStauskas11 & @GRIII to declare for NBA Draft. Watch live at 3:30 p.m. » http://mgob.lu/P32lbC Twitter

John Calipari, who has often been linked to NBA coaching jobs and who also has been critical of the NCAA for not changing with the times, told ESPN on Tuesday that he's more motivated by helping his players at Kentucky than he would by building the value of an NBA franchise. ESPN.com

But the former coach of the New Jersey Nets also believes that he'd be a better NBA coach the second time around. "I think I would be (better than my previous NBA stint) if I did it, but that's not the point for me," Calipari said on ESPN's "Numbers Never Lie" on Tuesday. "Can I say this in a humble way? I don't need the money. If I stop coaching today at Kentucky, my toes are up and I'm eating Cheetos and I'm fine. But here's my point: What's happening for me, what I'm feeling about coaching, goes beyond wins, goes beyond building a franchise. Can I do that in the NBA? If there was someplace that I felt that it would be more than just coaching and trying to win ... I'm not there to help you build your franchise value or help sell tickets. That doesn't move me. What moves me now is what I'm doing, and how I'm helping families." ESPN.com

A Michigan-based ownership group has purchased the NBA Development League's Springfield Armor and will move it to Grand Rapids, Mich., starting with the 2014-15 season. A news conference is scheduled for Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET in Grand Rapids, finally making official a deal that was reported last month. USA Today Sports

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April 15, 2014 | 02:28 PM ET Update

He should have a number of suitors on the open market. The Knicks can sign him to a five-year contract worth $129,135,806. If he signs with another team, the maximum he can get is $95,897,372 over four years. The Bulls, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers are among a group of teams expected to pursue him this summer. ESPN.com

Knicks coach Mike Woodson said he hasn’t been kept abreast of the Lamar Odom negotiations, but wishes they had signed the forward for this season. Odom is expected to sign with the Knicks before the season finale on a deal with a second, non-guaranteed year. Odom would not play this season, but would begin to work out under the auspices of the team during the offseason. New York Post

“His name came up, but nothing ever materialized,’’ Woodson said of Odom. “But his name did come up. “I like him,’’ Woodson added. “I like Lamar. I don’t know much about it, but from what I hear from [the media]. I think he’s a talent. He could’ve been good for us earlier. He does a lot of things on the floor that help you win basketball games, that’s for sure.’’ New York Post

He is officially listed as questionable for Tuesday night's game against the Brooklyn Nets due to a right shoulder injury. Anthony missed the team's shootaround, and the Knicks said he will undergo further evaluation. "He was evaluated this morning by the doctors, and I'll know more before the game," Woodson said. ESPN.com

Luol Deng of the Cleveland Cavaliers has been voted the 2013-14 winner of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, named after the second commissioner of the NBA and presented annually by the Professional Basketball Writers Association to the player, coach or trainer who shows outstanding service and dedication to the community. The two-time All-Star forward recently recorded a public service announcement for the EnoughProject.org, urging peace during a time of renewed conflict in his native South Sudan. In the video, he tells young people, "Look around you, and reach out. Make peace among those who are fighting. Forgive one another and encourage others to forgive. Build trust with people who fear each other. You are young, and if you are wise, you will build bridges with people your age that will last a lifetime. It is not too late to start...but it is not too soon either.' NBA.com

SOCIAL MEDIA PICTURES:
PHOTOS PLAYERS POST
Instagram

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.

   

April 15, 2014 | 01:28 PM ET Update

Datome was sheepish when asked about his three-point shooting percentage this season with the Pistons. Considered one of the top shooters in Europe, he has made seven of 38 three-pointers (18.4%). Granted it’s a small sample size and he hasn’t played much. But he would be the first to say he hasn’t capitalized on his few opportunities. “My percentage is terrible,” he said after the Palace finale on Sunday — a 116-107 loss to the Raptors. “It’s not easy to sit for five, six games and then play maybe 5 minutes of garbage time.” Detroit Free Press

SOCIAL MEDIA VIDEOS:
THE BEST OF VINE AND INSTAGRAM
Instagram

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.

   

April 15, 2014 | 09:10 AM ET Update

Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks are progressing toward a deal to sign veteran free agent Lamar Odom before the NBA regular season ends Wednesday, according to sources briefed on the situation. Sources told ESPN.com that the Knicks are on course, barring an unforeseen snag, to formally sign Odom this week in a move that would put him on their roster immediately and, more importantly, include a team option for next season. ESPN.com

Sources say this is viewed as a long-range play for the Knicks, who are banking on the notion that Jackson -- in his new role as New York's team president -- can provide the guidance to get Odom's career back on track. ESPN.com

Still, there are questions about the future and especially about Irving, who is expected to be offered a maximum contract extension this summer. Irving has been noncommittal about whether he'll accept it, and following Friday's loss, Irving posted a quote on Twitter that he left open for interpretation. Irving tweeted, "'Jump over the fence...no regrets.'" He was asked what it meant. "I'm going to let you dissect that," he said. "I'm just going to let you dissect that. Whatever you want to think about that." Alliance Review

NBA sources told FOX 26 Sports center Josh Powell, who has been playing in the Philippines, will sign with the Houston Rockets on Tuesday pending successful completion of his physical. Sources with knowledge of the situation said Powell received his letter of clearance on Monday from FIBA, world governing body for basketball, allowing him to leave his team (Ginebra) in the Philippines and sign with Houston FOX 26 Sports

Despite his second 10-day contract expiring Sunday, diminutive guard Casper Ware was back yesterday after agreeing to a contract for the rest of the season. "I just want to finish up strong and try to work out something for the long term," the 5-10 guard said. "I had a meeting with [general manager] Sam [Hinkie] this morning. All [day], I was, like, 'Dang, when am I going to get the call?' It ended up good, so I'm happy about that." Philadelphia Inquirer

Darren Wolfson: They never had interest. Went to Bulls today. RT @GooseOnSports @DarrenWolfson any steam on the #Twolves putting in a claim for Greg Smith? Twitter @DarrenWolfson

The Lakers' radio and TV affiliates had been notified: Bryant would grab a microphone and say a few words on fan appreciation night at Staples Center before Sunday's game against Memphis. He didn't show up. Nick Young took his place and thanked Lakers fans before tipoff, calling them "the best in the world." Los Angeles Times

It was a surprise to many, including Lakers radio play-by-play broadcaster John Ireland, who announced to listeners that Bryant was about to talk to fans before correcting himself, "No, wait. It's Nick Young." Bryant arrived late to the game because of a migraine, a team spokesman said. The Lakers lost, 102-90. Los Angeles Times

The talent appears to be there, somewhere, hidden inside the NBA body. But to get it to come to the surface has been forward Arnett Moultrie's problem in his two NBA seasons. He says now is the time, however, as the recently imposed five-game suspension given him for violating the NBA's anti-drug policy was what he needed to get himself on track. "It was a little dark spot for me, I guess, throughout the year I was just a little down on myself on the court, mainly, with no off-the-court issues," Moultrie said. "I'm upset with myself basketballwise. The mental part of the game is my biggest concern. Just to try and stay strong mentally. "The five-game suspension was my wakeup call. So now everything is behind me, water under the bridge, I'm ready to move forward." Philadelphia Inquirer

"If Arnett takes things extremely serious, if Arnett understands what it really, really takes to cultivate his obvious skills, then, yes, he can [make it in the league]," coach Brett Brown said. "I think that his skill package is surely good enough. He's a young man that's trying to sort some things out. We will continue to help him. We're with him. He's a part of our team. "Ultimately, if it's meant to be, it's up to him. He needs to control his own destiny with all aspects of how he lives his life and practices, and so on. I think that it is in him to do that. It's going to take a lot of work." Philadelphia Inquirer

Thunder forward Nick Collison and New Orleans guard Austin Rivers were ejected in the second quarter of the Thunder’s 101-89 loss to the Pelicans on Monday night. The two exchanged shoves and had to be separated before coming to blows. The incident began on a Thunder offensive possession. Collison attempted to set a screen on Rivers, who took exception to the contact and pushed Collison. Collison threw both arms in the air and looked around for the refs to make a call. It didn’t come. As the two transitioned to the other end, Collison then took matters into his own hands, delivering a forceful forearm shove into Rivers’ back. Rivers turned and charged at Collison, who appeared to briefly cock back his fist. The two were then separated and a double technical foul was called before referees reviewed the incident and upgraded it to double ejections. Oklahoman

Rondo, who suited up against the 76ers Monday night after missing two games because of a bruised left shin, entered having averaged 12.8 points, 11 assists, and 5.5 rebounds in his past 19 games after missing nearly a year with a torn right anterior cruciate ligament. Rondo has said he is looking forward to a full summer workout regimen. “I think Rondo’s going to have a great year next year,” Ainge said. “I think he’s going to have the best year of his career. Boston Globe

The Nets still don’t know if they’ll open the playoffs this weekend in Chicago or Toronto, but they understand that they will have the entire postseason spotlight for themselves, as Phil Jackson goes about the business of hiring a coach for the Knicks. So this might be the perfect time for the Nets, who host the Knicks at Barclays Center on Tuesday night, to add to their fan base. “I think it will be good for us to be the only team playing and all of the focus being on us, as far as the fans are concerned,’’ Deron Williams said. “I think that’s good for Brooklyn basketball and I think it’s good for our brand.” New York Daily News

Dirk Nowitzki on staying with the same team his whole career: “I still think it’s really special. It says a lot about the team and their surroundings and their organization and the guys, so yeah, I think it’s really special.” Dallas Morning News

Dirk Nowitzki on his frequent issues with his teeth and oral surgery: “My whole front is fake now … I got hit a couple of times. Here was the dilemma. You know I had rabbit teeth when I first came over. The first two were a little bit longer than the rest, so here’s what happened: So then you get those two knocked in, right, am I going to say, ‘Ok, put those same rabbit teeth back in?’ No. Let’s make them better. So then, I had a bridge, which was the front four, and you just shave the four down and put a bridge over it, and then a couple years ago, that bridge got hit over and over and over again, so then the teeth under the bridge were cracked, so it didn’t hold them any more. It could have gone out at any time, so I didn’t have any front four, so then I had to opt for the implants. There was really a year—and it started that year in the playoffs in San Antonio—after every season I had to have oral surgery for like 3-4 years … Other people have like knees and stings, and I had mouth surgery for like five years for sure.” Dallas Morning News

Dirk Nowitzki on some of the sound-bytes Dirk has recorded over the years, specifically one occasion in 2003 when he yelled, “What is Wang [Zhizhi] doing?” “There were some communication problems back in the day. I remember we had had an interpreter for him, and sometimes would just say whatever. I mean, we had no ideas what he told him. But yeah, those were the good old times. We had so many foreign guys on the team.” Dallas Morning News

"I think that's the biggest takeaway for our team is that these guys competed, coming in here and having a team that was only supposed to win 19 games," Hornacek said. "What we wanted to do is get them to play hard and play together as a team, and then we'll build from there. So we've accomplished that." ESPN.com

D'Antoni declined to speculate on his job status Monday. Asked about his future, he said he was prepared for exit meetings with players Thursday and Friday. And he was eager for Easter. He gave a typically self-deprecating answer when asked how he kept his sanity this season. "What sanity?" he said. Los Angeles Times

There are so many elements that need addressing for the 76ers to seriously start the rebuild they're currently in, with a new practice facility being at or near the top of the list. But sources have told the Daily News that some employees have been told that the plan of building at the Navy Yard has been scratched, leaving management frantically searching for a place to build a state-of-the-art facility they can call their own. Currently, the Sixers practice at the gym at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, which doesn't provide the intimacy or the updated equipment that most other teams in the league already have. Philadelphia Inquirer

Though another source said the Navy Yard plans haven't been officially scratched yet, it is likely to happen. Several sites are being scouted and management would like to have "shovels in the ground soon," according to a source. "We look forward to our own practice facility," said coach Brett Brown. "There is so much going on with practice facilities and how we attract people and how we keep people and how we develop people. Philadelphia Inquirer

Construction on the 76ers' new practice facility at the Philadelphia Navy Yard could begin as early as this summer, Sixers CEO Scott O'Neil said Monday night. First-year Sixers coach Brett Brown said the facility is an integral component to attracting top-tier free agents and building a championship contender and was a major reason why he decided to join the Sixers after winning four NBA titles as a longtime assistant with the Spurs. Delaware News Journal

Professional athletes are among our nation’s highest-paid employees and, as such, a huge chunk of their income is plowed into the government via the IRS. In fact, federal taxes owed by professional baseball, football, and basketball players will exceed $3 billion in 2013, according to tax experts who specialize in representing athletes. And, like every other U.S. taxpayer, their bill is due today. That’s $3 billion of the $2.5 trillion paid in federal taxes by all Americans, contributed by a select but paltry work force of about 3,000. On average, every MLB, NFL and NBA player pays $1 million in federal taxes. The Fields of Green

According to data bases compiled by USA Today, players in these three major leagues alone earned nearly $9 billion in 2013. Most of that income is taxed at the highest rate of 39.6 percent, and for the first time a surcharge of .9 percent was added to the previous 1.45 percent Medicare tax employees pay on income that exceeds $250,000 to help pay for Obamacare. Even though the overall federal tax burden of nearly 42 percent for these athletes is reduced by deductions, experts say most can only claim enough in agent fees, mortgage interest, dependents and charitable donations to whittle the bill down less than 10 percent. So assuming deductions reduce the overall tax burden to 33 percent, the amount paid in federal taxes on $9 billion of earnings is still $3 billion. “You definitely look at the bottom-line [tax] figure and you go, ‘Jeesh, that’s a lot of money,’ said Colorado Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer, who is in the last year of a three-year, $31.5 million contract. “Then you look at the net income and you go, ‘Jeesh, that’s a lot of money too.’’’ The Fields of Green

Jerome Williams on his fondest NBA memory

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