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David Stern Thought Lakers Might Agree Upon New Chris Paul Trade After Veto

May 28, 2017 12:58 AM

David Stern further expounded on his controversial decision to veto a trade in 2011 for "basketball reasons" that would have seen the New Orleans Pelicans trade Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Pelicans and Lakers agreed upon a three-way trade with the Houston Rockets involving Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.

"(My decision) was only based on what was good for New Orleans, or what was not good for New Orleans," said David Stern. "It had nothing to do with the Lakers at all. And in fact, in the course of the weekend, we thought we could re-do the deal. We really thought that Houston would be ready to part with Kyle Lowry; and we had a trade lined up for Odom that would have gotten us a good first round draft pick. Not we, but my basketball folks. But Mitch Kupchak at the time panicked, and moved Odom to Dallas. So the piece wasn’t even there for us to play with at the time. So that was it — just about what was good for the then New Orleans Hornets."

New Orleans soon thereafter traded Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Harrison Faigen/Silver Screen & Roll

Tags: Chris Paul, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Westbrook, Harden, Wall Join Curry In Eligibility For DPVE In 2017

May 18, 2017 2:31 PM

Russell Westbrook, James Harden, John Wall and Stephen Curry will be eligible for the Designated Player Veteran Extension in July.

All four players were named to the All-NBA Teams for the 16-17 season.

Curry can sign the supermax contract as a free agent. Curry was already eligible for the contract due to winning MVP in two of the past three seasons.

Paul George and Gordon Hayward are not eligible for the rule.

Kawhi Leonard is now eligible to sign the Designated Player Veteran Extension in 2018.

Bobby Marks/The Vertical

Tags: John Wall, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Houston Rockets, Washington Wizards, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Rockets May Rethink James Harden's Rest During Regular Season

May 12, 2017 6:41 PM

Mike D'Antoni admitted he may rethink how much rest James Harden receives during the regular season.

Harden missed only one game during the regular season and logged 2,947 minutes, which was third in the NBA. Harden appeared to be worn out at the end of the Western Conference Semifinals.

"All great players think they can do everything," D'Antoni said. "Maybe he does need to take a game off here and there. 'Hey, you're nicked up a little bit, don't play, maybe.' Something to talk about, but that's also his greatness, too. So it's hard. It's very delicate.

"And again, I feel so sorry for him because he's had an unbelievable [season]. I mean, he's had a historic year, and you can't just say, 'OK, one game ...' and all of the sudden, social media goes crazy. ... But he will get better. We will talk about it. I can help him. The offense will get better. I can get him off the ball some. I can save his legs a little bit and have more confidence [in other ball handlers]. Pat Beverley can run the team a little bit. We can do different things."

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Tags: James Harden, Houston Rockets, NBA

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James Harden Takes Blame For Rockets' Playoff Exit

May 12, 2017 3:24 AM

James Harden took the blame for the Houston Rockets' blowout loss in Game 6 as they were eliminated from the Western Conference Semifinals by the San Antonio Spurs.

Harden scored 10 points on 2-for-11 shooting to go with seven assists and six turnovers. The Spurs were playing without Kawhi Leonard as well as Tony Parker.

"You've got to take it for what it is," Harden said. "Everything falls on my shoulders. I take responsibility for it, both ends of the floor. You know, it's tough, especially the way we lost at home for Game 6. But it happened. Now we move forward."

Harden is likely to finish second in MVP voting but his season will be remembered by many now for his playoff performance.

"I really just didn't have a rhythm at the beginning of the game," said Harden, who averaged 28.5 points and 8.5 assists during the playoffs. "I feel like I was making some passes, and we just didn't knock down shots or whatever the case may be. As a team, as a unit, we didn't have a rhythm and they capitalized on that."

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Tags: James Harden, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Mike D'Antoni Quit Knicks Following Carmelo Anthony's Ultimatum

May 10, 2017 2:03 PM

Mike D'Antoni admitted he stepped down as head coach of the New York Knicks towards the end of the 11-12 season due to Carmelo Anthony.

The New York Post reported at the time that Anthony didn't want to remain with the Knicks at the deadline if he knew D'Antoni would return next season.

D'Antoni didn't want to continue to work under that type of ultimatum. 

“I just went in and quit,” D’Antoni said.

Anthony was bothered by D'Antoni's offense and his perceived preference for Jeremy Lin.

Tim Keown/ESPN

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Houston Rockets, New York Knicks, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Nene Ruled Out For Playoffs With Torn Adductor

May 8, 2017 2:20 PM

Nene has been ruled out for the remainder of the playoffs with a torn left adductor.

Nene suffered the injury in the first quarter of Game 4.

Mike D'Antoni used Ryan Anderson as the backup to center Clint Capela with Nene sidelined.

ESPN

Tags: Maybyner Nene, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Injury

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Mike D'Antoni, Erik Spoelstra Named Winners Of NBCA Coach Of The Year Award

May 8, 2017 2:25 AM

Mike D’Antoni and Erik Spoelstra have been named the co-recipients of the inaugural Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award, the National Basketball Coaches Association announced.

The Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award recognizes the dedication and hard work of NBA Head Coaches and is presented annually to a Head Coach who helps guide his players to a higher level of performance on the court and shows outstanding service and dedication to the community off the court. It honors the spirit of Michael H. Goldberg who set the standard for loyalty, integrity, love of the game, passionate representation, and tireless promotion of NBA Coaching.  It is unique in that it is the only award voted upon by the winners’ peers, the Head Coaches of all 30 NBA teams.

In addition to D’Antoni and Spoelstra, the following coaches also received votes: Scott Brooks, Dave Fizdale, Steve Kerr, Jason Kidd, Gregg Popovich, Doc Rivers and Quin Snyder.

“Congratulations to Mike and Erik on their outstanding work this year. And somewhere up above our good friend Michael Goldberg is very proud,” said Dallas Mavericks Head Coach and National Basketball Coaches Association President Rick Carlisle. 

NBA.com

Tags: Houston Rockets, Miami Heat, NBA, NBA Award

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Nene Suffers Pulled Left Groin

May 8, 2017 2:05 AM

Nene suffered a left groin injury in the opening minutes of Game 4.

Nene went directly to a hospital to have an MRI.

"We'll have a better handle on it (after the MRI), but he pulled his groin pretty good," Mike D'Antoni said after the game, the result of which knotted the series at 2-2. "We'll see. I don't have any more than that."

Nene had been averaging 10.8 points and 5.3 rebounds in the playoffs. 

NBA.com

Tags: Maybyner Nene, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Injury

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Nene Fined $15,000 For Pushing Dewayne Dedmon

May 3, 2017 2:56 PM

Nene has been fined $15,000 for escalating an altercation by pushing Dewayne Dedmon above the shoulders.

The incident, for which Nene was assessed one technical foul and ejected, occurred at the conclusion of the third quarter of the Rockets’ 126-99 win over the Spurs on May 1.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Maybyner Nene, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Fines

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Recruiting From Harden, Ariza Helped Rockets Sign Eric Gordon

Apr 27, 2017 12:09 PM

James Harden and Trevor Ariza played significant roles in convincing Eric Gordon to sign with the Houston Rockets.

"It was sometime last summer," Gordon writes at The Players Tribune. "Early June, maybe. My phone lights up and I see the name flash on the screen: James Harden."

"James and I have been good friends ever since we played together in the McDonald's All-American game in 2007," Gordon writes, "but I wasn't sure why he would be calling me on a random weekday afternoon. I picked up, and before I could even say anything, James started in with:

"'Are you signing with us, or what?'

"No 'Hey, how's it going?' or anything like that. All business.

"Almost the second I hung up, my phone lit up again. This time it was Trevor Ariza.

"'Are you signing with us, or what?'

"It was like a coordinated attack. I was like, Wow, these guys aren't messing around."

Reid Laymance/Houston Chronicle

Tags: James Harden, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Les Alexander Fined $100,000 By NBA For Confronting Referee
Les Alexander has fined $100,000 by the NBA for confronting a referee during live game action.

RealGM Staff Report

NBA Investigating Leslie Alexander For Yelling At Ref During Game 5
Leslie Alexander is typically mild mannered during games.

Calvin Watkins/ESPN

Thunder Were +5 In Series When Both Westbrook, Harden Were On Floor
The Thunder were +15 when Russell Westbrook was on the floor and -58 with him on the bench in their five-game series

Matt Moore/CBS Sports

James Harden Reveals He Injured Ankle In Game 3
James Harden went 5-for-16 from the field (including 0-for-7 from 3-point range) and scored 16 points in Game 4.

Calvin Watkins/ESPN

Patrick Beverley Fined By NBA, Says League Needs To Protect Players Better
The Rockets asked the NBA to review the situation after Patrick Beverley told them of the fan's behavior.

Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

NBA Reviewing Incident Between Patrick Beverley, Son Of Thunder Minority Owner
Patrick Beverley got knocked down after attempting a layup and landed at a fan's feet, identified as Stuart Scaramucci.

Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Daryl Morey Subtweets Russell Westbrook On Rebounds
Daryl Morey appeared to subtweet Russell Westbrook when replying to a Tweet by Matt Bullard about how Hakeem Olajuwon made it clear that he wanted every available rebound.

RealGM Staff Report

Daryl Morey: Warriors, Spurs, Rockets Have Best Indicators To Win Title
The Rockets have the third best net rating in the NBA but questions remain about their defense.

Michael Pina/Vice Sports

Draymond Green Admits Retaliating To James Harden By Punching His Wrist
James Harden jammed his left wrist on March 18th.

Calvin Watkins/ESPN

DeMar DeRozan, James Harden Named Players Of The Week
DeMar DeRozan and James Harden have been named the NBA's Players of the Week.

RealGM Staff Report

Ryan Anderson Out Two Weeks With Sprained Right Ankle
Ryan Anderson's tests came back negative.

Calvin Watkins/ESPN

James Harden Helped Facilitate Rockets' Trade For Lou Williams
James Harden reached out to Lou Williams two weeks before the deadline about joining the Rockets.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

James Harden Wants To Play Every Night, Avoid Rest
James Harden has no intention of resting during the regular season, urging Mike D'Antoni to keep playing him.

ESPN

Rockets Sign Troy Williams For Remainder Of Season
Troy Williams has been with the Rockets' NBA Development League affiliate since he was signed March 9.

Jonathan Feigen/Houston Chronicle

Straw Poll Of 106 Media Members Shows Harden Ahead Of Westbrook In MVP Race
James Harden received 53 first-place votes while Russell Westbrook had 26 first-place votes.

Tim Bontemps/Washington Post

Rockets Staying In Baton Rouge Due To High Hotel Prices In New Orleans
The Rockets will hold shootaround in Baton Rouge and then bus nearly two hours to New Orleans on the day of the game.

Calvin Watkins/ESPN

Rockets To Sign Troy Williams To 10-Day Contract
Troy Williams was waived by the the Grizzlies in February.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Andrew Bogut Agrees To Sign With Cavaliers
Andrew Bogut also considered the Rockets, Spurs and Celtics.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Mike D'Antoni Was Encouraged His Style Works By Warriors' Title
While away from the game, Mike D'Antoni talked to Alvin Gentry regularly and also touched base with Steve Kerr a couple of times.

Lee Jenkins/Sports Illustrated

Unnamed Head Coach: James Harden Has Become Steve Nash On Steroids
James Harden has simplified his life this season, no longer dating Khloe Kardashian, no longer playing beside Dwight Howard and playing point guard under Mike D'Antoni.

Lee Jenkins/Sports Illustrated