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April 24, 2015 | 10:09 PM ET Update

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Friday he erred by holding a basketball clinic in Cuba this week without first consulting with the Heat. "Yes, I can confirm that they were miffed," Silver said of the Heat's angry reaction, which was reported by The Miami Herald earlier this month. "I have had multiple conversations with those who were miffed since the miffing took place. Our bad. We made a mistake. We didn't appropriately consult the Miami Heat before agreeing with the state department to take that trip. A rookie error on my part." Miami Herald

April 24, 2015 | 07:54 PM ET Update

Kicking the can down the road and sticking with the status quo isn't going to be what ultimately convinces Durant to stay with the Thunder. Being proactive, not reactive, is. Presti showed that mentality this season, dealing two first-round picks in two separate deals to overhaul the roster's depth while also breaking into the luxury tax. The expectation is they will re-sign Enes Kanter this offseason, only deepening their financial commitment. ESPN.com

The roster's construction is only part of it, though, and there was a growing sentiment the team was beginning to plateau under Brooks' direction. Brooks was extremely well-liked in the locker room, but his voice wasn't carrying the same weight as it once did. Player accountability had become an issue, according to sources, with his message resonating less than before. ESPN.com

LeBron James and Kia Motors are auctioning a K900 -- the luxury car James endorses for the company -- with the proceeds to benefit James' charitable organization. Up until 3 p.m. on May 7, the car is available for bid on Charitybuzz.com. The cost of this particular K900, which includes a personalized King James Limited Edition Plaque and James-related icons in the headrests, is $168,463. The auction was announced in a press release from Kia. Cleveland Plain Dealer

THE TALLEST PLAYERS IN NBA HISTORY

There's been 20 players 7-foot-3 or taller in the NBA. Sadly, most of them were no good.

   
April 24, 2015 | 06:52 PM ET Update

“Malik Newman will be rated as the top point guard going into the draft next year, a scoring point guard,” one NBA scout told SNY.tv. “Skal Labissiere will be the top big man and in the running for the No. 1 pick alongside Ben Simmons. Skal is a skilled big man that needs to get stronger but a big-time talent. Simmons is the best forward in the draft next year. He could actually be a point forward at the NBA level. He needs to develop a consistent perimeter jump shot but he could be the most complete all-around player next year in college.” ZagsBlog.com

Both Simmons and Skal Labissiere impressed NBA personnel at the recent Nike Hoop Summit, where Newman also played. “Ben Simmons, he’s a better version of Lamar Odom without the problems,” the second scout said. ZagsBlog.com

BUZZ METER: WHO'S TRENDING IN THE NBA TWITTERSPHERE?

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

   
April 24, 2015 | 06:26 PM ET Update

Doug McDermott was in the locker room before a game last month, when he was informed that there was a rumor that his father, Greg, had called the Bulls front office to complain about his son’s lack of playing time and the role that coach Tom Thibodeau played in that. “Trust me, I heard it,’’ the younger McDermott said, acknowledging that it was bothersome. “I actually talked to my dad right after someone brought that to my attention in the locker room,’’ he continued. “I called him up and I was just kind of laughing almost. He was like, ‘What are you laughing about?’ I said, ‘You hear this rumor going out that you called the front office and stuff?’ He started laughing.’’ Chicago Sun-Times

“My dad would never do that,’’ Doug McDermott said. “He’s a coach, and he has to deal with parents all the time, calling him up all the time. Boosters, parents, calling all the time about playing time, everything. He would never do that. He has too much respect for the coaches here, [general manager] Gar [Forman] and Pax [VP of basketball operations John Paxson], all those guys. He would never do that.’’ Chicago Sun-Times

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April 24, 2015 | 04:37 PM ET Update

People close to Thibodeau are convinced the Bulls will fire him after this season, though the front office has always played down the tiff in terse public statements. Grantland

Ben Bolch: DeAndre Jordan on defensive player of year voting: "I finished third last year, so it was cool. I guess I need to improve a lot. As long as I have the respect from my coaches, my peers around the league, that’s the only thing that matters." Twitter @latbbolch

Florida Gator Men's Basketball: Chris Walker will enter the 2015 NBA Draft. We wish you all the best, Chris! @kingsky23 Twitter

Jeff Goodman: Kris Dunn is returning to Providence, sources confirmed to ESPN. School will announce this afternoon. Twitter @GoodmanESPN

THE 30 BEST-PAID PLAYERS IN NBA HISTORY

We're living in a time when it's great to be good at basketball. Most of the highest-paid players of all time are in the NBA right now.

   
April 24, 2015 | 03:26 PM ET Update

The Knicks, often cited as another potential destination, don’t make sense for Rondo. Point guards in the triangle spend plenty of time off the ball — as Knicks coach Derek Fisher knows — and if anything has become clear about Rondo, it’s that he simply isn’t capable of playing off-guard. New York Post

“Sounds good, sounds good, until I'm done and that’s the key, I’m not done yet,” Terry said. “A lot of basketball left in me and it starts with Game 1, I'm just excited to be in the playoffs and have a realistic shot and so we are here.” ESPN.com

“How ironic, 10 years ago, I was the starting point guard for the Dallas Mavericks against Houston in the series and now again I’m the starting point guard for the Rockets, it is ironic,” Terry said. “But it is something that I’ve always prepared myself for and I’m ready for the task at hand and good thing we got a good group around me so it ain’t just me by myself. So I’m prepared.” ESPN.com

“He’s been a great veteran to our team, a great voice in the locker room, a great voice on the court wherever it may be,” Dwight Howard said. “He‘s been consistent all year. He’s done an excellent job bringing myself and James [Harden] closer as teammates and also as leaders of this team.” ESPN.com

One Eastern Conference scout described Stevens’ performance last season, as, “just keeping his head above water.” Stevens agrees with that; he’s admitted the travel, the lack of practice time, the media relationships and the other non-basketball demands of the job all took him by surprise last season. “I just felt so much better structurally (this season) than I felt last year at any point in time,” Stevens said. That comfort with the structure of the NBA has been evident in the development of his style. “He is coaching now,” the scout said. “The offense they run, is a sort of flex offense with a lot of motion, high pick-and-rolls, that he ran at Butler, but he has so many wrinkles in the plays he runs now. And they run it fast, with a lot of speed and precision. The players don’t break the offense a lot.” Sporting News

58-year-old Rockets fan James Pierce is charged with impersonating a police officer. According to KHOU, Pierce allegedly posed as a cop to try to sneak into Tuesday’s playoff game between Houston and Dallas. An arena security guard reportedly became suspicious when Pierce flashed his badge, something real cops apparently don’t have to deal with upon entering. One wonders how long Pierce got away with this jig before he was discovered. The Big Lead

BUZZ METER: WHO'S TRENDING IN THE NBA TWITTERSPHERE?

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

   
April 24, 2015 | 02:45 PM ET Update

This may already his eighth season in the league, but he is still quite young, having turned 26 last summer. It's not that farfetched to believe Young's best days as a player are ahead of him and Nets fans should hope that those days come in Brooklyn. "I haven’t really even just thought about it," said Young, who can opt out of next season, the final one of his contract, and become an unrestricted free agent if he so chooses. "I’m just trying to play basketball and worry about it in the summer when it comes up." NetsDaily

Of the guys who will be free agents this summer, Jae Crowder and Jonas Jerebko have probably done the most to up their value in the eyes of other NBA teams, as well as the Celtics. Boston will try and keep both, but understand that some teams might be willing to pay them above-market value – something Boston isn’t likely to do. CSNNE.com

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April 24, 2015 | 01:04 PM ET Update

In his latest motivational tactic, Casey looked at his players in the locker room before they broke practice Thursday and invited any who weren't going to Washington to compete at the highest level to step forward and he'd make a reservation for them at a nice restaurant and they could skip the trip and watch on TV. If this were high school, Casey would've substituted not getting on the charter aircraft with sending those not ready to fight back to the yellow bus. "Nobody stepped forward, so that means everyone is going to compete," Casey said. ESPN.com

Sooner basketball star and Big 12 Player of the Year Buddy Hield will stay at OU for his senior season. He announced Friday he will not enter his name into the NBA draft. will stay at OU for his senior season. He announced Friday he will not enter his name into the NBA draft. Hield averaged 17.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game last season while shooting 41 percent from the field. He said he wants to take the Sooners to the Final Four next season. FOX23 News

Leonsis was asked: Would you be in favor of legalizing sports betting? His response: “First of all, I respect our commissioner. I love Adam Silver I think he’s doing a great job. And I think he is spot on. I think we’re living in this real-time technical trading world, and that there’s so much betting that goes on, I think this first iteration that we’re seeing with the Draft Kings kind of phenomenon, and this daily interactive gaming. But, it makes sense. You’re going to have wallets on your phone, people now are going to start to make wagers on, in a real time way, ‘I think he’s going to make a pass, instead of take the shot,’ and you’ll be able to instantly move money back and forth, so it’s better to get in front of it. and the consumer is going to do what the consumer is going to do. We have to make sure that it’s managed in the right way. But I do think it was smart to get in front of it, and not bury your head in the sand and say it’s not going to happen.” Washington Post

COLLEGE SALARIES

Players from college basketball powerhouses like Kentucky, Duke, UCLA or Florida are raking it in in the NBA.

   
April 24, 2015 | 10:55 AM ET Update

Nash maintains he has no regrets about how he handled the aftermath surrounding his season-ending injury where he stayed distant from the team in the final year of his contract worth $9.8 million. “I was in a really difficult position mentally and emotionally,” Nash said. “It wasn’t easy for me. I think the best thing for everyone was for me to get away.” Both Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and coach Byron Scott publicly supported Nash’s indefinite absence. But they also expressed hope he would mentor the Lakers’ backcourt, namely rookie guard Jordan Clarkson. Yet, Nash did not begin those private sessions until late January. “As soon as they asked me to help, I was there to help,” Nash said. “It wasn’t like I was hiding. They asked me if I would work with the guys and I immediately said, ‘Yeah.’” Los Angeles Daily News

Parsons will meet with more doctors and will have more information next week. He said the knee injury – which he sustained March 29 when the Mavericks played in Indiana – has only gotten worse over the past several weeks. He said there is no tear or structural damage, but that the knee will need repair. “I have a few other appointments next week,” Parsons said. “It just never got better and it’s just so frustrating right now because I obviously want to be playing with my team. I want to be out there. It’s the playoffs. It’s the most fun time of the year and I was looking forward to this series against Houston and its all taken away from me, so it is devastating and I want to be out there but I have tried every possible thing to try to play – rehab, rest, different treatments – and nothing has worked. I have a couple of options to go over with doctors next week and make a decision next week on what I am going to do.” Houston Chronicle

Orazio Cauchi: As reported by @Jonathan Givony, big-man Guillermo Hernangomez will declare for NBA draft. Very interesting prospect. #NBA Twitter @paxer89

When asked about the constant speculation regarding his job, and the fact that his name continues to pop up for openings around the league, most recently for the Oklahoma City Thunder's job that became available earlier this week when Scott Brooks was fired, Thibodeau brushed the talk aside. "It's all noise," Thibodeau said before Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night. "That's why it's so important, I think, to establish a routine. You stick to it no matter what. You do it each and every day, nothing should ever change. Put everything you have into getting ready to play and understanding what goes into winning. All that stuff's a bunch of nonsense." ESPN.com

Wittman doesn’t always come across as the most engaging and inviting person. He can be curt and guarded with members of the media. He won’t offer much insight on his tactics or his opponents. Before Game 1, Wittman implored reporters to hurry up and ask their questions because he had work to do. No one laughed and Wittman didn’t smile; he wasn’t joking. Washington Post

In a five-minute speech before the series began, Wittman fired up his players by tugging at their hearts. According to Beal, Wittman told them to “cherish each moment,” and reminded them that postseason appearances aren’t promised. Wittman then pointed to the 37-year-old Pierce and said, “Paul, this might be your last time ever making it to the playoffs.” Beal said the speech nearly pushed him to tears. Pierce said, “It was inspiring.” Wall has been one of Wittman’s staunchest supporters because of the way he pushed him on the defensive end and held players accountable. He added that Wittman is always working behind the scenes to get more from his team. Washington Post

 

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN GRIZZLIES HISTORY

The Gasols go 1-2 in a list short on big names 18 years into franchise history.

   
April 24, 2015 | 08:58 AM ET Update

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday he is "on the fence" about intentional fouling away from the ball and expects the league to be "very engaged" about the tactic over the coming months. A day after the San Antonio Spurs sent the Clippers' DeAndre Jordan to the foul line 17 times in a playoff victory, Silver said he once favored a rule change but now isn't pushing for one. "I've gone back and forth," Silver said during a meeting with a group of Associated Press Sports Editors. "I've sat in meetings with some of the greatest players like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird who said that players should learn to make their free throws and it's part of the game. At the same time, it doesn't make for great television, so I'm on the fence right now." NBA.com

“I’ve been in the league 25 years, and I can’t go back and say that anyone can shoot the ball off the dribble like Steph can,” Gentry told SI.com last week. There’s evident pride when Gentry describes the sacrifices made by former starters David Lee and Andre Iguodala. There’s satisfaction as he recalls seeing the instant chemistry during team dinners back in the fall. When Draymond Green’s name is mentioned, Gentry chuckles. “We’ve asked him to guard everyone from LaMarcus Aldridge and Anthony Davis, to two-guards. He’s the heart and soul.” And there’s a touch of awe as he considers Kerr’s ability to boost Golden State by 16 wins, a feat that saw the first-time head coach finish second in the Coach of the Year voting to Atlanta's Mike Budenholzer. “It’s like golf,” Gentry mused. “It’s easy to go from shooting 120 to 95. [Kerr] took a golfer who was in the high-80s and he’s got them shooting in the high-60s now. That’s really, really tough.” Sports Illustrated

The win put the Bulls up 3-0 in the series, while the Cavaliers matched it, taking a commanding 3-0 lead over the Boston Celtics. So certainly the Cavs have to be on Rose’s radar, right? “Hell no. I’m not thinking ahead,’’ Rose, who scored a season-best 34 points, insisted. “Just trying to get better every game and push myself.’’ Chicago Sun-Times

The questions, as they often do for this Cleveland team, turned to Love, who performed well (23 points, 6-for-10 from 3-point range and nine rebounds) for the Cavaliers in their Game 3 win. "He's been highly criticized this year, and for what, I don't know why," James said, before pausing, and smiling. "I know why. I know why. I know." Booth Newspapers

NBA coaches are usually a little anxious about their players having multiple off nights in New Orleans, a city filled with top-notch cuisine, great music and plenty of opportunities for all-night fun and trouble along Bourbon Street. But don’t count Warriors head coach Steve Kerr among the apprehensive. “I don’t worry too much about our guys,” Kerr said. “They’re in the hotel, watching movies and playing video games. … I don’t think you’ll see anybody at Jazz Fest.” San Francisco Chronicle

Today, all 30 N.B.A. teams have volunteer chaplains. One hour before every game, inside every arena, players from both sides are invited to attend a closed-door meeting in some designated corner of the building. The sessions usually last no more than 15 minutes. For some players, attending chapel service has become as much a part of their pregame routine as having an ankle taped. New York Times

The Hawks’ attendance at chapel has been low this season, Lang said, guessing it had something to do with the demands of learning Coach Mike Budenholzer’s intricate system. Hawks guard Kyle Korver, who attended chapel regularly while playing for the 76ers and the Utah Jazz, said he was forgoing the sessions lately because they occurred during his regimented pregame shooting workout. New York Times

BEST PLAYERS MOVED AT THE TRADE DEADLINE

Carmelo Anthony and many other big-name players have changed places at the trade deadline in the last two decades.

   

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