Thursday, August 30, 2012

Washington Wizards Sign Martell Webster

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed free agent guard/forward Martell Webster. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.
“Martell brings a combination of versatility and shooting in addition to his experience,” said Grunfeld. “Adding him to the roster provides us with another solid veteran presence and gives us flexibility with our lineups at both the shooting guard and small forward positions.”
Webster (6-7, 230) holds career averages of 8.4 points and 3.2 rebounds while shooting .374 from three-point range in 394 games (191 starts) over seven seasons with Portland and Minnesota. He was originally selected by the Trail Blazers with the sixth overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft as an early-entry candidate out of Seattle Prep High School. Webster averaged 9.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and a career-high .417 three-point percentage for the Timberwolves in 2010-11 and averaged career highs of 10.7 points and 3.9 rebounds for the Trail Blazers in 2007-08. He averaged 6.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in 47 games (26 starts) for Minnesota last season.
The Wizards’ roster now stands at 14 players.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Amar’e to Benefit from Jason Kidd

New York Knicks point guard Jason Kidd may be in his 40′s, but he’s planning on having a big season in the Big Apple. However, he’s just not planning on making it a big individual season for himself, but instead has his eyes on Amar’e Stoudemire as well.
Both Stoudemire and Kidd are coming off of 2012 seasons that weren’t the greatest by their standards. But Kidd sees a rebound season from STAT and also sees himself playing a Steve Nash-type of role for Stoudemire.
Stoudemire pushed very hard for the Knicks to bring Nash aboard and it looked like they might before the Lakers snuck in and stole him away. But by the sounds of Kidd, everything will work out just fine. Kidd addressed his situation to
“With Amar’e, I hope I can be like a Nash to be able to get him the ball where he likes it to be successful. Make it where he doesn’t have to work as hard, easy layups, catch and shoot where he likes it,” Kidd explained.
If Kidd did indeed have that type of effect on Amar’e, it would be huge for the Knicks as Stoudemire must play a huge role in 2013 if the Knicks are going to contend for a championship.

NBA BEATS - The only people that benefit from Jason Kidd is the other team. Never been a kidd fan. I think he is one of the most overrated players in the history of the league.  I don't get why people have always been high on him. He can not shoot. His shot is ugly and unorthodox. He is good. He is just so overrated! Amare has Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd. That is a career stopper. Amare would be way better off with even a Goran Drojac or a Luke Ridinour.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Will Thunder Match Max Offer to Harden?

There’s also pressure on guard James Harden.
Harden is on the verge of making $50 million to $60 million over a four-year span. Yeah, I know. We should all endure such “pressure.”
The closer his deal is to $50 million, the more likely he remains in a Thunder uniform.
The closer his deal gets to $60 million, the more likely he’s headed back to the Phoenix area, where he played collegiately at Arizona State for two years before becoming the No. 3 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.
The deadline to sign rookie contract extensions is Oct. 31. If Harden doesn’t sign with the Thunder by then, he’ll become a restricted free agent next summer and free to receive offers from all suitors.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bosh: Lakers Best Team in NBA on Paper

It’s been two weeks since the Lakers acquired Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic, which at least has given Chris Bosh time to collect his thoughts.
“As soon as the deal happened, my brain went 100 miles an hour to another place, far away from here,” the Miami Heat forward said Friday during a radio appearance on WQAM.
And now that he has collected his thoughts, where does he view the Lakers in terms of his own championship team? His candid answer caught hosts Steve Goldstein and Adam Kuperstein a bit off guard.
“The Lakers, I think, right now, I mean on paper, they probably have the best team in the West and probably the league right now,” he said. “On paper. I’m saying on paper. But it’s a lot, a lot, it’s a long season. And the best team always isn’t the one who starts out the season as the best team.
“We know we’re the champs, but we have to start off from scratch. We have a lot of chemistry building to do. And we have to come out there and we have to start over. We know favorites and all that stuff really doesn’t matter.”

Friday, August 24, 2012

Brown to Give Nash Offensive Freedom

(Lakers coach Mike) Brown understands the pressure facing him this year, one of the many things we covered in our phone interview. Below is a transcript of highlights from our conversation.
LO’L: How does the Princeton work with having someone like (Steve) Nash? As is my understanding, it’s not as much a heavy pick-and-roll offense, but more motion and ball movement.
MB: “The way that we’ll put it together, Steve’s going to have an opportunity — he’s going to quarterback the team — and so he’s going to have an opportunity to come down the floor every possession and in early offense play pick-and-roll if he wants to. It’s up to him, based on where he decides to take the ball or a call that he makes or an action that he does, it’s up to him to get us into some of the looks of the Princeton offense.

NBA BEATS - In my opinion Nash was the biggest acquisition LA made in the off season. He will make a big difference. Nash will make everybody better. He will take a lot of stress away from Kobe.

Wade Unsure if LeBron Can Surpass Jordan

Dwyane Wade isn’t ready to put Miami Heat teammate LeBron James in Michael Jordan’s category.
Not yet anyway.
“I don’t know if (James) has the ability to surpass (Jordan) or not,” Wade told on Thursday during a promotional event for his Wade’s World Foundation. “That’s yet to be seen. My version as LeBron being on par with Michael is this: They’re both on the golf course. Michael’s on the 18th hole. LeBron is somewhere on like the fourth hole. He’s got a long way to go, but he’s on par to get to the 18th hole.”

NBA BEATS - Dwayne Wade is right on. Kinda odd that he is making these comments though. I think he kinda resents Lebron coming in and taking his thunder. Taking his team. Who knows? But the comparision is to MJ and anybody who follows this blog knows how I feel about the Lebron and MJ comparision. Lebron is a heck of a player but is nowhere near MJ. MJ would dunk over people. Lebron just dunks when the lane is open. MJ could shoot. Lebron misses free throws all the time. He is not a shooter. The comparision is not fair. They are different players. Kobe Bryant is more of a Jordan, but still nowhere near him. Although alot closer than James. Lebron is more of a with a lot more speed and muscle.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Corey Maggette May Retire After Season

Corey Maggette, acquired this summer in a salary-shedding deal that brought in his expiring contract in exchange for the considerably more expensive Ben Gordon, appears to be a member of Column A. That doesn’t mean he’s heading into this season with designs of cheering from the bench in street clothes, however. Maggette still thinks he has some juice left in the tank.
Either way, he’s grateful for a fresh start, even this late in his career.
But how much longer will that career continue? Maggette doesn’t know, and he probably won’t have much of an idea until he’s able to test his degenerating body over the course of a full season. Retirement, he admits, is an option.
“I work hard, but we’ll see how long I want to go on after this year,” he said. “We’ll go from there.”

Where Will Sixers’ Doug Collins Put Focus?

When the Sixers welcomed center Andrew Bynum into the fold a little over a week ago, (coach Doug) Collins wasted no time saying that (Evan) Turner, Jrue Holiday, and Bynum were surefire starters. It is yet to be determined whether Turner will start at shooting guard or in Andre Iguodala’s old small forward spot.
However, while Turner’s development is still paramount to the Sixers, heightened expectations for the upcoming season will put the focus elsewhere.
There are those who look at the Sixers’ current roster and suggest the team could rise as high as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. And for this to happen, Collins has to quickly mesh his pieces. He must take a big-picture approach and move away from the micromanagement of Turner.
Marked improvement by Turner, especially if it were to occur this season, Turner’s third, would prove to be incalculably beneficial to the Sixers.But don’t expect him to get the teacher’s pet attention he has seen in the past. The Sixers’ goals moving forward are a little bit too big for that.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

$315 shoe. You have a problem with it?

 NBA BEATS - This shoe sure is getting alot of attention. Some people are saying the company(NIKE) should be responsible for people buying the shoe who can not afford it. They say because a kid gets killed or jumped because of his shoes it is on the company that made the shoe. Some even say Lebron is at fault. He should know kids look up to him. Please that is hogwash. Those are the people that blame Remington for their gun being used in a murder. You can not blame a company for what individuals do. They do not have to buy the shoe. The accusation is right on though. Don't get me wrong in a perfect world shoes should not be 300 bucks, at least not yet. All companies try to make the most money they can. That should be what they are trying to do. It is the game of life. Try to succeed. I hope that is part of what drives people. Notice I said part. I sure hope that is not the only thing driving people. But it should be one of the things. Nike is trying to do the best they can. That is a not a bad thing. I would hate people to critize me for try to do the best I can. It is just to bad that the people that will buy it are the people who can't afford it. I don't want it. I don't want it because I am not a Lebron guy. I like players who can shoot.

No shoe is worth $315,unless you are Carrie from Sex In The City.
But back to reality, there’s been a lot of immediate yada-yada over the $315 LeBron James basketball shoe that will be released by Nike Inc. in the fall.
It would be the most expensive sneaker ever.
Reaction has been swift and punitive: The president of the National Urban League says “To release such an outrageously overpriced product while the nation is struggling to overcome an unemployment crisis is insensitive at best.”
The $315 price tag is insane, for sure, but is it much different than an adidas Chicago Bulls Revolution 30 Custom Authentic Alternate Jersey that sells for as much as $289.99? Or a Peyton Manning jersey that sells for $99.99? Or an Alex Rodriguez authentic road jersey that sells for $184.99?

Del Negro Expects Paul Back During Camp

Any fears Clippers fans might have about All-Star point guard Chris Paul having surgery Tuesday to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb should be put to rest, according to Coach Vinny Del Negro.
He wanted to reassure fans that Paul “will be all right” and will “resume all basketball activities” after being sidelined for about eight weeks.
It’s possible that Paul could be back sometime during training camp, which starts Oct. 1.
“I don’t want to put an exact date on it,” Del Negro said. “When he’s ready to play, he’ll play. But I expect him back sometime during training camp. I don’t know when, but the most important thing is to get ready for the start of the season.”

NBA BEATS - After watching the clippers in the playoffs I came to realize that they are not that great. Mostly because of Blake Griffin. He just is not that good. He is to passive. He should not be a superstar.The man can dunk. We know that. But that is why he is so well known. I would rather have Al Jefferson. Don't get me wrong. Griffin is good. There is not many players I would want over him. I am just a Jefferson fan. I would rather have Jefferson. I would be surprised if the clippers make it to the finals. But I am wrong quite a bit. Just my to cents.

Report: Boston Celtics Sign Jeff Green

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed free agent forward Jeff Green. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We are thrilled to be able to have Jeff back with the Celtics,” said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations. “Jeff’s versatility on offense and ability to guard players out on the perimeter is something that we are looking forward to having on the court this season.”

Can Thunder Afford to Extend Eric Maynor?

Eric Maynor. Remember him?
Maynor is seeking an extension to his rookie contract with the Thunder, just like Serge Ibaka and James Harden. However, Maynor’s name often gets dropped when trying to decipher the Thunder’s trilogy of contracts.
Retaining Maynor ranks third among the trio, but he is not a throwaway player. He unquestionably has worth.
What about Maynor? In what future financial neighborhood will he reside? Will it be $14 million for four years? $16 million? $18 million? Higher? Lower?
Extending Maynor’s contract might not be financially feasible given Ibaka’s deal and what Harden’s potential deal could be.

NBA BEATS - Eric Maynor defineltly has some value. He is a nice player. I just don't see how OKC can afford to keep all these guys. He seems like one that may have to go. I would like my hometown team to pick him up.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Ibaka Deal Opens Door to Suns for Harden?

News that Serge Ibaka reached agreement on a four-year contract with Oklahoma City should catch the attention of Suns fans.
The amount of the deal, $48 million, will make it trickier for the Thunder to secure James Harden, who could command a maximum contract as a restricted free agent after the 2012-13 season. That could open the door for the Suns, who have maintained $15 million in cap space for next summer’s free-agency period and who have expressed interest in Harden behind the scenes.
Much will hinge on what becomes important to Harden. No one could fault him for chasing the money if a max deal (roughly $60 million over four years) is offered. But would the appeal of sticking it out with his Thunder teammates make him willing to stay for say, $52 million?
Harden’s mom lives in the Valley and the player has said he still has great affection for the area.

NBA BEATS - I sure hope so. I live in Mesa, AZ. So I would love to see Harden in the valley of the sun. He did attend college here. I don't think he can be a number one option on a team. But he is the perfect role player. And he definetly should be starting. He is to good to come off the bench.

Hornets the Next Up-and-Coming Team?

With New Orleans Hornets rookie forward Anthony Davis set to make his debut this upcoming season and the average age of their core players only 24 years old, the team appears to have taken the appropriate steps this summer to achieve long-term sustainability. Several former NBA players, who were in New Orleans this past weekend for the National Basketball Retired Players Association’s conference, said they believe the Hornets could become the next emerging team in the Western Conference because of their young talent.
“The direction the Hornets are in right now is really positive,” former Utah Jazz forward Stephen Howard said. “I think General Manager Dell Demps has done a tremendous job trying to build them into a team that will contend day in and day out.”
When the Hornets open training camp in October, their roster will include eight new players. Davis was the No. 1 draft pick in NBA draft in June after winning a national championship as a freshman with Kentucky in April.

NBA BEATS - I agree, Hornets could be a up and coming team. But I wouldn't say the General Manager or the organization did a good job. It is called getting the number one pick. That is why this is being said about them.

Thunder Has Interest in Jimmer Fredette?

Speaking of Kings, Jimmer Fredette would love to go someplace where someone other than just DeMarcus Cousins will pass him the ball. Thunder would love to pry Fredette away from Kings as replacement for Derek Fisher.

NBA BEATS - I think Jimmer whould thrive in a different enviroment. It is just the players the Kings have. Sacramento is a selfish team. A guy that can shoot that good is always a threat. Just needs to be in the right situation. But then again just look at how Adam Morrison turned out. Maybe Jimmer is a dud. But I think he has some real value in the right enviroment. Hope he does go to OKC.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Iguodala Thinking Long-Term with Nuggets

Andre Iguodala says he doesn’t want Denver to be just a stopover. The Nuggets wholeheartedly agree.
The Nuggets acquired the All-Star swingman from Philadelphia in the blockbuster trade that sent Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Iguodala is under contract for this season with a player option for 2013-14. At his introductory news conference at the Pepsi Center on Thursday, he said he told Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri he wants to be here a while.
“We weren’t coming into this thinking this will be a one-year deal,” Iguodala said. “… This is definitely a place that I can see myself for more than just a year or two.”
Ujiri said he’ll work on an extension this upcoming season for the defensive-minded star who helped the U.S. win the gold medal at the London Olympics.

Wade Guarantees Return by Season Opener

Six weeks after left knee surgery and two weeks away from court work, he (Dwyane Wade) is much closer to healthy now than he was during the 2012 playoffs. He guaranteed that he would be ready for the season opener Oct. 30 against the Celtics: “No question.”

Ibaka, Thunder Reach Terms On Extension

Oklahoma City forward Serge Ibaka has reached agreement on a four-year, $40-million plus contract extension, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Ibaka, 22, could’ve been a restricted free agent next summer, and his deal now locks into place three of the Thunder’s core young stars — Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Ibaka.
This deal leaves the future uncertain for guard James Harden, who could command a maximum contract on the league market as a restricted free agent next summer. Along with the remainder of Kendrick Perkins three years and $27 million, the small-market Thunder will be hard-pressed to invest so much money into his payroll.
In his third NBA season in 2011-’12, Ibaka averaged 9.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game. He’s one of the league’s best rim protectors, and been rapidly developing his offensive game. Ibaka was a key player on Spain’s silver medal winning Olympic team this month in London.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

James Joins Jordan on History List

LeBron (James) signed off with 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists and exchanged long, tight hugs with both (Mike) Krzyzewski and (Kevin) Durant before the final horn had even blown. Shortly thereafter, Coach K made an even bigger scene by jumping up and down on the medal stand.
“It’s been a great ride for me,” James said upon joining Michael Jordan on the short list of players to win a gold medal, an NBA championship and the MVP trophy in the same season.
“I could have never scripted it this way. A lot of people doubted us. They said we were too small. Like Chris (Paul) said, it’s not about size, it’s about heart. And I’m happy we have so much heart on our team.”
NBA BEATS - Just wanted to let it be known. As much as I respect Lebrons game he is nowhere near Michael Jordan. Jordan could shoot. Jordan could dunk. Lebron just dunks when the lane is open. Jordan went over people. Jordan was alot more fun to watch. I don't like watchin players that can't shoot. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Stoudemire ‘Can’t Wait’ to Use New Moves

Six-time NBA All-Star forward Amare Stoudemire “can’t wait” to explore the moves he has learned from former Rockets star Hakeem Olajuwon when he returns to play with the N.Y. Knicks.
Stoudemire has been in Houston for about a week working with the Hall of Fame center.
“It’s always room to improve as a player,” Stoudemire said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports. “To want to be the best is always a common denominator for most players.
“So working with Hakeem, one of the best players to ever play the game, is a great opportunity for me. We are both very quick and athletic for our positions. So to learn from him will be a great advantage for me.”

Wade Rehab on Schedule; Ready by Camp?

Dwyane Wade’s recovery from knee surgery is right on schedule, and the All-Star guard expects to be ready to go when the Miami Heat open the defense of their NBA championship.
The way he was walking around London on Wednesday, it would have been tough to guess he had surgery a month ago.
“I feel good. Rehab is going very well,” Wade told The Associated Press. “I’m happy with it. I’m more encouraged than I was, obviously, when I knew I had to get surgery. So I’m happy.”
The Heat will open training camp in late September, and Wade said he expects to be fully ready to go when Miami opens the defense of its title against the Boston Celtics on Oct. 30. He even hopes to be ready for the start of camp.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Jermaine O’Neal Agrees to Join Suns

In the shadow cast by Superman’s arrival in Los Angeles, the timing of Jermaine O’Neal’s choice to commit to the Suns on Friday was unfortunate as an unrelated move.
Given the caliber of remaining NBA free-agent centers, O’Neal’s commitment to sign a one-year, $1.35 million contract with Phoenix could be fortuitous if — and it’s a huge if — O’Neal can be healthier than he has been for the later half of his 16-year career.
The Suns had only a backup center role and a one-year, veteran’s minimum contract to offer with a franchise that is in transition. The Suns came away with a six-time All-Star who is still only 33 years old because he entered the NBA out of high school.
The caveat is that the years’ wear and tear has cost O’Neal, who appeared in only 61 percent of his teams’ games over the past eight seasons. O’Neal’s past two seasons in Boston were limited to 49 games combined because of knee and wrist surgeries. O’Neal, who is 6 feet 11 and 255 pounds, was averaging 5.0 points and 5.4 rebounds in 22.8 minutes per game before his season-ending left wrist injury last season. O’Neal went to Germany this summer to receive the Orthokine treatment on both of his knees. Kobe Bryant, Alex Rodriguez and Grant Hill also have gone to Germany for Orthokine, which takes a patient’s blood and spins it in a centrifuge to make serum that is injected to combat inflammation.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Howard to Lakers Deal Complete - My Opinion

NBA BEATS - I like when big trades go down and relevant player move to a new team. I was starting to like the Lakers though and after this not so much. I wanted to see what Gasol and Kobe could do with Nash. I thought that was all they needed was a good point guard. Never really been a Howard fan. Like I said in earlier post I am not a Shaq and Howard type. I am more of a Olajuwon and Duncan type. I like skillfull bigs. Plus Howard and all that indecision. Nash is still the key acquisition the Lakers made this off season. I think the Lakers can get by Miami now. Just don't know about the Thunder. Because I think the Thunder still have the best player. If you read some of my earlier post you would know I am referring to Westbrook. Westbrook and his sidekick Durant I think can still get LA. But I would say LA is the favorite. I thought they were before Howard acquisition. Not that Howard will hurt them. I just think Gasol should have more space down low to do his thing. I would rather have Gasol than Howard. That is me though and I know the majority would not agree. And not that I think Andrew Bynum was that great. I am actually excited to see what he can do on a different team. Jason Richardson to. The trade was good for Bynum. I just think the Lakers would of been better with Bynum. When you have Kobe, Nash, and Gasol I think they needed  a guy that was willing to bow down and be the lazy big.  But throw in Howard who wants touches and the spotlight. I just think they took a small step backwords. Yeah they got better production from the 5 spot but I think you lost a little production from the 1,2,3, and especially 4 spots. 

A four-team trade that would send Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers is complete, multiple sources told ESPN on Thursday night.
A source with direct knowledge of the talks told’s Marc Stein the Lakers will receive Howard, the Denver Nuggets will acquire Andre Iguodala, the 76ers will receive Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson, and the Magic will get Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic and one protected future first-round pick from each of the three teams.
In addition, the Magic will be getting other pieces, including 76ers No. 1 draft pick Moe Harkless, a source told Stein.
Sources close to the process told Stein and’s Ramona Shelburne that a trade call with the league office has been scheduled for Friday to secure the necessary NBA approval to make the deal official.
Lakers forward Pau Gasol had been in and out of talks, sources told Shelburne, before ultimately being excluded.

Stoudemire Anticipates ‘Bounce Back’ Year

Amare Stoudemire has been in Houston working with Hakeem Olajuwon for the past five days.
On Thursday, he provided a glimpse into his workouts with the Hall of Famer.
In a video released via Stoudemire’s YouTube channel, the Knicks big man also explained why he decided to work with Olajuwon.
“I’m doing it for my fans in New York who’ve been sticking with me from a tough year last year,” Stoudemire says. “I can’t wait to bounce back next season and give it all I got and try to bring a championship (to New York).”

NBA BEATS - I would sure hope so. He did not do much. I don't really think he can do much without a Steve Nash. Amare is just a charge waiting to happen. Every time I see him make a move to the hoop I think here comes a charge. That being said I think Hakeem Olajuwon is the best player for Amare to try to mimic. Hakeem was the best big man I have seen play. I like bigs that have skill. Shaq and Dwight Howard have pure strength and they are dominating, it is just not the type of basketball I like to watch. I have never been a Shaq or Howard fan. Olajuwon had moves. Amare has quick feet and is capable of making moves. Amare is good with the pick and roll. Nash and Amare pick and roll sounds a lot more appealing that a Nash and Howard pick and roll. That is just a traveling call waiting to happen. Unless it is a alley oop for a dunk. Howard can't pop and shoot. Amare needs a point gaurd. He needed Lin. Raymond Felton? Are you kidding me. Thats a joke. Lin didn't want to stay there with thug town Melo and J.R. Smith. Both those guys didn't like Lin. They don't fit in with the Harvard type. All that being said Amare could have a bounce back year because he is pretty skillfull. But he does need to be set up.

Will Sixers Offer Bynum Max Extension?

A source said the Sixers have yet to reach out to (Andrew) Bynum’s agent, David Lee, about an extension, but there will be plenty of time for that. When the sides begin to talk about an extension for Bynum, the Sixers can offer the max — three years and $60 million. However, if Bynum were to test free agency, he could command a five-year, $100 million deal.
Though Bynum reportedly said that he would only sign an extension with the Lakers, it’s worth noting that he grew up in Plainsboro, N.J., near Princeton. Certainly a Jersey kid would want to stay close to home, right?
NBABEATS - I think they should. Who knows what he is capable of being in a different situation. For some players it is all about the situation. He might end up being better than Dwight Howard. If Steve Kerr was never on the Bulls with MJ would we all know who he is? Maybe, but not likely. Some people will just flurish is different enviroments. Maybe Philadelphia is just the town to shake that inconsistency tag he has always had.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Smith Trying to Recruit Howard to Atlanta?

(Josh) Smith, who also grew up in Atlanta, has known (Dwight) Howard since preschool. They joke that they’ve been balling together since they were in diapers. The two boys remained friends as they completed grade after grade and started developing into the physical specimens we see today. They formed one of the best AAU duos in the nation and talked about someday playing together in the NBA. When Smith got married two years ago, Howard was the best man in his wedding. Smith admits that he would love to reunite with Howard in Atlanta.
“Who wouldn’t want a guy like that on your team?” Smith said of Howard when HOOPSWORLD caught up with him in Las Vegas. “He’s the best big man in the league. I’d love to have him. Who wouldn’t? He’s the most dominant big in the game right now.
“We do have a lot of money coming off the books, especially after this year. I don’t know what the plans are. I guess every team that’s unloading money, the media thinks they’re targeting Dwight.”
Smith said that if Howard were to join the Hawks, it’d be “icing on the cake.”

Monday, August 6, 2012

Kobe Bryant May Finish Career Overseas

The idea intrigues Kobe Bryant: A farewell season beyond the completion of his Los Angeles Lakers career, a victory lap in a European destination that bookends a blessed basketball life. NBA stars rise and fall in performance and popularity, but the loudest cheers, the biggest crowds, the most reverential treatment never changes for Bryant.
He’s a transcendent icon overseas, borne of an unparalleled blend of life as a Laker and winner of five championships, two scoring titles, and an MVP award. What’s more, Bryant is one of them. In his formative years, Europe was home. He speaks Italian and Spanish. He hangs around soccer stadiums. Bryant travels to Europe and it all comes so easily to him. As he chases his second gold medal with Team USA in these Olympic Games, his basketball future in Europe remains ripe with possibilities.
Asked about the possibility of playing a season in Europe, Bryant told Yahoo! Sports: “It would be natural for me to go do it. It wouldn’t be a stretch at all. I grew up here.”

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Paul Pierce Wants to Experience Free Agency

Paul Pierce, after giving away awards and working with kids at his annual basketball camp at Basketball City near TD Garden, continued to discuss the Celtics and his personal future:
About his contract, which has a team option for 2013-14: “I think I am going to play this one out. I want to see what it feels like to be a free agent for once in my life. I think I am going to play this one out. A lot can change in two years. My body (may not) be where I want it to be, I could retire, a lot of things could happen. It’s not about the money at this point. I love the game. I made as much money as I possibly can. It’s about winning a championship and if I feel like it’s the right thing to do.
If he uncomfortable with the team option?: “Not at all. I mean if they don’t want me back, I feel like I’m good enough and I’ll be wanted by a lot of teams. I’m coming into this year and I just made another all-star team at 34. So I’m still feel like I’m playing at a great level.”

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Doc Rivers to Blame For Allen Leaving?

In his first lengthy and candid interview on the circumstances since Allen spurned a two-year, $12 million offer to sign with the Heat in July, Rivers told Yahoo! Sports that his decisions to relegate Allen to a sixth-man role and give point guard Rajon Rondo complete freedom with the ball and leadership were ultimately what helped lead Allen to leave Boston.
Allen, a future Hall of Fame guard, left the Celtics full of acrimony and disillusionment, ending a spectacular five-year run with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce as Boston’s Big Three. Allen signed a two-year, $6 million deal with the Heat.
“People can use all the Rondo stuff – and it was there, no doubt about that – but it was me more than Rondo,” said Rivers, who is working as an NBC analyst during the Olympics. “I’m the guy who gave Rondo the ball. I’m the guy who decided that Rondo needed to be more of the leader of the team. That doesn’t mean guys liked that – and Ray did not love that – because Rondo now had the ball all the time.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Roy Never Wanted to Officially Retire

Brandon Roy’s retirement from the NBA last year wasn’t intended as a final decision.
The Minnesota Timberwolves were eager to help him clarify his status.
“After a few months of sitting out, I decided, ‘Hey, I don’t want to stop playing basketball,’ ” Roy said Tuesday at a news conference at Target Center after signing a two-year, $10.4 million contract. “I wanted to continue going forward. It was never a situation where I said, ‘I’m done forever.’ It’s just more of a pause.”
The Portland Trail Blazers announced Roy’s medical-related retirement right before the start of the lockout-shortened season last year. His knees, lacking cartilage after six operations, were bothering him too much to continue. Roy said Tuesday, though, that the team doctor advised him to quit. The Blazers used the amnesty clause to waive Roy and not count the remaining $63 million on his contract against their salary cap or luxury tax.
“It was never really officially my decision to retire,” Roy said.

Diogu Using Olympics to get Back to NBA

(Ike) Diogu came to the Olympics looking for a single person: that one NBA general manager who will give him another chance, a real chance, to play at the highest level. He never thought he’d inspire a country.
The son of Nigerian schoolteachers, Diogu led the D’Tigers to stunning upsets of Greece and Lithuania at a qualifying tournament in Venezuela. For an encore, his 25-point, 10-rebound performance against the Dominican Republic clinched Nigeria’s first-ever Olympic berth in basketball.
Once here, it didn’t take long for Diogu’s crew to score a first Olympic victory, beating Tunisia in its London debut. Do you believe in miracles?
“When we first got together, we talked about making history,” Diogu said. “My brother lives in Nigeria, and he said the place is just going crazy. With all the turmoil going on over there, this gives the country something to rally around. Our soccer team didn’t make it, so we’re the team everyone is riding on.”

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Raptors Re-Sign Center Aaron Gray

The Toronto Raptors announced Friday they have re-signed centre Aaron Gray. Per team policy, financial details were not disclosed.
Gray averaged 3.9 points, with career bests of 5.7 rebounds (third on team) and 16.6 minutes in 49 games with the Raptors last season. He started 40 contests, averaging 4.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 17.4 minutes. Gray finished the season second on the club in field goal percentage at .516 (83-161). He paced the team in rebounding 11 times, with six 10-plus rebound efforts, and recorded two double-doubles. He posted season highs with 12 points and 12 rebounds February 22 versus Detroit.
Gray played for the New Orleans Hornets in the 2010-11 season, averaging 3.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 13.0 minutes. He shot .566 (56-99) from the field in his 41 appearances, including six in a starting role. He started six consecutive games from February 5-15, averaging 6.1 points, 8.0 rebounds and 25.8 minutes.
Gray, 7-foot, 270 pounds, was a second-round selection (49th overall) by Chicago in the 2007 NBA Draft. He was dealt by the Bulls to the Hornets in January 2010.
Gray posted his career highs against the Raptors on April 16, 2008 with a 19-point/22-rebound performance for the Bulls.
Gray played four seasons collegiately at the University of Pittsburgh. He was named Big East Most Improved Player in 2005-06, upping his scoring and rebound averages from 4.3 points and 2.8 rebounds as a sophomore to 13.9 points and 10.5 rebounds in his junior season. He was an All-Big East First Team selection as a senior, posting averages of 13.9 points and 9.5 rebounds.

Raja Bell Buyout Saga Continues

The Raja Bell saga goes on.
The Salt Lake Tribune learned Monday that Bell has not accepted a buyout with the Jazz, despite the veteran guard saying July 8 a verbal agreement had been reached between the sides and only formalities remained.
“We’ve been given the greenlight by Utah to go ahead and find something that works for us. We’ve agreed to the terms,” Bell said in July. “So I think it’s safe to say now we are in the market again and we’re entertaining our options at this point.”
Jazz General Manager Kevin O’Connor would not discuss Bell’s buyout when recently asked about the situation during Summer League in Orlando, Fla. But a league source confirmed Monday the Jazz have officially offered Bell a buyout. He has refused to accept the deal, though, stalling an already long-delayed process.

Lakers to Switch to Princeton Offense?

Kobe Bryant has been searching for spacing and freedom and flow on offense, for a way to counter defenses bent on sagging and suffocating him on the floor. Even before the Los Angeles Lakers delivered him point guard Steve Nash, Bryant had raised an idea with coach Mike Brown about the possibility of employing a distant cousin to the triangle – the Princeton offense.
So there was Brown and Bryant in a side room in a Las Vegas gymnasium during Team USA’s training camp in early July, listening to Eddie Jordan detail the offense’s intricacies, laying out how Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum would benefit with and without the basketball. Here was an old-school Ivy League blueprint daring to be a solution for the Showtime Lakers’ issues.
Jordan happens to be the foremost Princeton authority in the NBA, the heir to architect Pete Carril, and that’s an immense part of why the Lakers are moving toward an agreement to hire Jordan as an assistant coach. Jordan sold his vision of the offense to a most willing subject, and ultimately Bryant departed for these Olympics convinced that the Lakers have a sound plan of action for the 2012-13 season.