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NBA news gathered from around the net.

Blazers Pay Tearful Tribute To Duckworth

Former teammates of Kevin Duckworth bid him farewell during a tearful tribute on Saturday, according to Oregonian.

There were tributes from teammates, eye-watering tales from friends and family, a proclamation from the mayor, and moving video presentations during a public memorial service.

"He left this world a better place," said former teammate Terry Porter. "He left the Blazers' community a better place."

"People talk about Clyde Drexler being the best player on the team, but I say it was Kevin Duckworth," former teammate Buck Williams said about the Blazers' teams of the late 1980s and early 1990s. "If he played well, we knew we were going to win. He was the X factor . . . the glue that (held) the team together. It's time to cheer for a Goliath of a man. He did so much for the community, he made you so proud."

Via Oregonian

Howard Changed After Taking Home Gold

Magic center Dwight Howard believes that he is a changed man after winning a gold medal with Team USA in Beijing, according to Orlando Sentinel.

"It's great being around the kids and just getting to come back to the states," Howard said. "I just missed it so much, and you just appreciate life being in China. You miss your friends and your family, going a month-and-a-half not seeing the people I love. I'm just glad to be back in America."

Howard couldn't believe how famous he and his teammates were halfway across the world.

"They treated us like the Beatles over there," he said. "It was ridiculous. Everywhere you went was just a crowd of people. And the people there are so great. They're disciplined, they work really hard, and they love taking pictures. Everybody's got a camera, so all they did was take a lot of pictures."

Via Orlando Sentinel

Cleveland Planned To Target J.R. Smith?

If the Cavaliers weren't able to trade for point guard Mo Williams, they planned to try and make a move for restricted free agent J.R. Smith, according to Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Williams was their first choice, but they liked the idea of a sign-and-trade with the Nuggets for Smith as well.

Smith ended up re-signing with the Nuggets for about $16 million over five years.

Via Cleveland Plain Dealer

Baron's Latest Blog Endorses Obama

Baron Davis's latest blog entry has showcased his support for Barack Obama in this fall's presidential election, according to Yardbarker.

Davis wrote on Saturday about how inspired he was by Obama's speech on Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention.

"Hope ya'll watched Barak Obama's acceptance speech Thursday night. If he didn't move you maybe the sound was turned down," Davis wrote. "When it was over I felt like I was ready to go out to Venice Beach and start registering people to vote right then at 9pm. We've got to show up on Nov. 4th to vote this man into the White House!!! FOR REAL!"

Via Yardbarker

Marbury Has Dropped To 200 Pounds

Point guard Stephon Marbury has dropped to 200 pounds in an attempt to get in shape this offseason, but he still appears to be on thin ice, according to New York Post.

The Knicks have sixteen players under contract, which means they must get rid of one player prior to the start of the season.

Marbury is still considered a candidate to be cut at this point although recently-acquired forward Patrick Ewing Jr. is not a lock to make the team, either.

Via New York Post

Cavs Interested In Lorenzen Wright

The Cavaliers are looking for a big man and have had discussions with free agent center Lorenzen Wright, according to Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Wright played in only 18 games last season but has a big body and is a veteran presence.

If Cleveland ends up signing him, he'll likely fill the role that Joe Smith played prior to the Mo Williams trade this summer.

Via Cleveland Plain Dealer

Heat Turn Attention Towards Point Guard

After signing veteran center Jamaal Magloire, the Heat have turned their attention towards adding a point guard to their roster, according to Miami Herald.

Miami was among several teams that visited Chicago recently to view a workout by free agent guard Shaun Livingston.

Pat Riley also said this week that the Heat remain in negotiations with restricted free agent Chris Quinn, who had been extended a one-year, $1 million qualifying offer this summer.

Via Miami Herald

Knicks Could Send Randolph To Grizzlies?

The Knicks are reportedly still discussing a deal with the Grizzlies that would send forward Zach Randolph to Memphis, according to Newsday.

Such a move would give New York the salary cap room needed to make a play on the free agent market in 2010.

Earlier this summer, a deal between the Grizzlies and Knicks was rumored to be on the table, with Darko Milicic reportedly a part of the package New York would receive.

Via Newsday

Blazers Establish Duckworth Memorial Scholarship

In partnership with The Oregon Community Foundation, the Portland Trail Blazers have established the Kevin Duckworth Memorial Scholarship Fund, according to NBA.com.

"Kevin left behind a legacy of generosity," Portland president Larry Miller said. "This scholarship honors that legacy by allowing Kevin to continue to better the lives of people in our community for many years to come."

The Oregon Community Foundation works with individuals, families, businesses, and organizations to create charitable funds to support the community causes they care about. Through these funds OCF awards more than $55 million annually in grants and scholarships.

Via NBA.com

Deng To Play For Britain In Eurobasket Qualifying

Bulls' forward Luol Deng will play for Great Britain in their European Championship qualifying games after the national associated bumped up the insurance to cover his NBA contract, according to Associated Press.

British Basketball had been struggling to pay the insurance for the 23-year-old Sudanese-born player, who moved to London as a child.

"We see no medical reason why the NBA insurers have demanded this new element to Luol's insurance," director Chris Spice said. "Their demand came so late and out of the blue, we have had no choice."

Deng is Britain's biggest basketball star.

"We are convinced that this is the best outcome for British Basketball, is the best use of our funds in the circumstances, and highlights our commitment to make Great Britain one of the top basketball nations in the world by 2012," Spice said.


Warriors Doubt How Ellis Injured Ankle

The Warriors are in the process of checking the story of how guard Monta Ellis injured his ankle.

Heat Agree To Terms With Jamaal Magloire

The Heat have agreed to terms on a contract with free agent center Jamaal Magloire.

Surgery Will Cost Ginobili Months, Not Weeks

Spurs' guard Manu Ginobili will have surgery on his left ankle next week to repair ligament damage and is expected to miss more time than initially thought.

First Moving Trucks Arrive In Oklahoma City

The first three moving trucks arrived in downtown Oklahoma City on Friday to begin moving the Seattle franchise to it's new location.

Players' Union Suspends Mayo's Former Agent

Agent Calvin Andrews was suspended for 12 months on Friday for alleged recruiting improprieties regarding former Southern California star O.J. Mayo.

Schultz Drops Lawsuit Seeking Return Of Sonics

The last remaining chance of rekindling the Seattle SuperSonics as they were in 2007-2008 just closed, with former owner Harold Schultz on Friday dropping his lawsuit against Clay Bennett and the Professional Basketball Club.

Sonics Fight Cost Seattle $2.9M

The city of Seattle spent $2.9 million in their fight to keep the Sonics in town, but they ended up coming out on top in the end.

Nash Skeptical Of Suns' Plan To Sit Him

Suns' point guard Steve Nash is skeptical of General Manager Steve Kerr's plan to rest him more this season.

Magloire The Most Likely Option In Miami?

Jamaal Magloire appears to be the most likely option for the Heat in their search to find a big man.

Knicks Acquire Ewing Jr. For Draft Rights To Weis

Patrick Ewing, Jr. has been acquired from Houston for the draft rights to center Frederic Weis.

VP Candidate Palin Has Basketball History

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has been tapped by Republican presidential candidate John McCain to be his running mate.

Rockets Still Want To Re-Sign Landry, Mutombo

The Rockets have indicated that their intention is to re-sign both forward Carl Landry and center Dikembe Mutombo.

Oden Participates In 5-On-5 Scrimmage

Blazers' center Greg Oden is inching closer to his return as he participated in his first full-court, 5-on-5 scrimmage since he had microfracture surgery last September.

Ginobili Will Have Surgery On Ankle

San Antonio guard Manu Ginobili admitted on Friday morning that the only way his ankle will fully recovery is if he has surgery.

Paul's Gold Will Go With Memories Of Grandfather

Chris Paul plans to put the gold medal he won in Beijing this month next to memories he has of his grandfather.

West, Magic To Present Riley For Induction

Jerry West and Magic Johnson will present legendary Coach Pat Riley for induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame next week.

Rockets Forward Hayes Breaks Nose During Workout

Rockets' forward Chuck Hayes will be out of action for 4 to 6 weeks after sustaining a broken nose during a workout on Thursday afternoon.

Lakers Impressed By Bynum's Recovery

Lakers' center Andrew Bynum is reportedly looking bigger and stronger than ever, and, more importantly, is showing no ill effects from the knee injury which ended his season in January of this year.

Hornets Sign Sean Marks

The New Orleans Hornets have signed New Zealander and former Sun Sean Marks to a contract.

Memphis Signs Hamed Haddadi

The Memphis Grizzlies signed free-agent center Hamed Haddadi, who led all 2008 Olympians in rebounding and blocks.
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