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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Marbury Kicked Out Of MSG Seat

Stephon Marbury attended the Knicks' home opener on Saturday night and was asked to leave a courtside seat when ushers examined his ticket and determined he was sitting in the wrong spot.

Marbury left the arena just as the first quarter was ending.

Marbury pulled out a video camera shortly after arriving and began shooting the live action.


Nuggets Pick Up 10-11 Option On Afflalo

The Denver Nuggets have exercised the fourth-year option on guard Arron Afflalo?s contract, team Vice President of Basketball Operations Mark Warkentien announced today.

In his first two games with Denver, he has averaged 1.5 ppg and 1.0 apg in 18.5 minutes.

Via Press Release

Denver Signs Balkman To Extension

The Denver Nuggets have signed forward Renaldo Balkman to a contract extension, team Vice President of Basketball Operations Mark Warkentien announced today. Per league policy, terms of the deal were not released.

Last season, Balkman averaged a career-high 5.0 ppg and 3.8 rpg while shooting a career-high .558 from the field in 53 games with the Nuggets.


Karl Says Carmelo Is Trying To Play Like MVP

Nuggets coach George Karl says that star Carmelo Anthony is looking to play at an MVP-type level this season.

Anthony has 71 points through the season's first two games.

"(He is) trying to move into the level where you're talking about him as an MVP candidate," Karl told the Denver Post.

Karl added that he talked to Anthony about becoming more efficient this year.

"We've talked about extending his efficiency and minutes. I would rather see him have his best assist year, his best assist-to-turnover ratio, his best free-throw year. ... If we have the year I think we're capable of, I'm hoping that maybe 20 to 25 games he doesn't play in the fourth quarter, so I think it makes it difficult, compared to guys who aren't going to have as many blowouts.

"Also, I don't think a scoring title is on my list of importance. My importance would be ? can he have his most triple-doubles and a commitment to be a dominant player in all aspects?"

Via Denver Post

Cuban Reiterates Stance On Artest In L.A.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban reiterated on Friday night that he's glad to see Ron Artest with the Lakers.

Cuban generated some headlines this summer when he told the media he was happy to see the combustible forward in Los Angeles.

"History repeats itself," Cuban told the Orange County Register. "I'm not saying something you guys haven't considered, right? That's just the risk. Every team has to deal with chemistry and the impact of the chemistry on the team. Normally, you try to minimize that.

"Ron is an amazing talent, he's a great guy. I don't really know him, but the way he's handled this is phenomenal. I give him a ton of credit. But it is what it is."

Via Orange County Register

Rivers: Bulls Are Better This Season

Celtics coach Doc Rivers says that the Bulls are a better team this season.

Last April, Chicago pushed higher-seeded Boston to seven games in the first round of the postseason.

"I think they're a better team," Rivers told the Daily Herald. "I think they're longer, I think they're a better defensive team. I think they fit. That's taking nothing from Ben, he was phenomenal in the playoffs last year. But so was Ray (Allen). We thought they had a UConn deal going to get each other off (scoring).

"I think now their team does fit. (John) Salmons is at two, probably what he is. (Luol) Deng gives them more length at three. (Kirk) Hinrich is playing one and two. I just think they're a better fit.

"And the fact that they had (Brad) Miller and Salmons this year in training camp. I thought that was lost on a lot of people last year. They had to kind of learn on the run. This year, they had the ability to work on things."

Via Daily Herald

Source: Grizzlies Resume Talks With Rudy Gay

The Grizzlies have restarted talks with Rudy Gay about a possible contract extension, sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Gay's agent, Jeff Austin of Octagon, traveled to Memphis on Friday to meet with Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace.

Austin wrote in an email to Yahoo! Sports that it's "too early to tell if anything will come of it."

League sources have indicated that Gay is looking for a five-year contract in the $50-60 million range.

Via Yahoo! Sports

Sloan, Jazz Discussing Contract Extension

Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor says that the club is negotiating a contract extension with coach Jerry Sloan.

O'Connor is hopeful that an agreement will be reached.

"I'd like to think we can get something done at some point," O'Connor told the Deseret News this week. "But there's no urgency to it."

Sloan, who has signed one-year extensions heading into each of the last two seasons, is coaching the Jazz for the 22nd season.

Via Deseret News

Gasol Worried About Hamstring Injury

Pau Gasol has admitted that he's worried about his injured hamstring.

He hasn't practiced or played in nearly two weeks because of the injury.

"I'm concerned about it, definitely," Gasol told the Los Angeles Times. "There's no set time to return, no set date. I just don't want it to turn into something long-term."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson has said publicly that he's not concerned about the injury. Gasol has missed two regular-season games after missing the team's last six exhibition contests.

Via Los Angeles Times

Tuesday Is Earliest Return Date For Hamilton

Pistons guard Richard Hamilton will miss his second consecutive game on Saturday night.

Hamilton sat out Friday's contest against the Thunder with a sprained right ankle and will miss Saturday's game against the Bucks as well.

He suffered the injury late in Detroit's season-opening win over the Grizzlies.

Postgame X-rays on the ankle were negative.


Indiana To Pick Up Options On Rush, Hibbert

The Pacers have reportedly submitted the paperwork to exercise the third-year options on the contracts of Brandon Rush and Roy Hibbert.

Butler Bruises Knee In Wizards' Loss

Wizards forward Caron Butler bruised his knee in the team's loss to the Hawks on Friday night.

Warriors Unlikely To Pick Up Law's Option

The Warriors aren't expected to pick up the fourth-year player option on guard Acie Law's contract.

Brown Still Believes Curry Will Be An Asset

Larry Brown still believes that Eddy Curry will be an asset in the near future.

Bobcats Could Get Bell Back Soon

The Bobcats could have guard Raja Bell back for Monday's game against the Nets.

Pacers Might Be Sending Message To Ford, Rush

The Pacers have kept guards T.J. Ford and Brandon Rush on the bench for a majority of the second half in consecutive games.

Redick Plans To Record A Few Rap Songs

Magic guard J.J. Redick plans to record "a couple rap songs" with a new unnamed rap group.

Bucks To Decline Alexander's Option

The decision will make Alexander the highest pick in NBA history to have his rookie option declined.

Josh Smith Becomes Youngest To 900 Blocks

Hawks forward Josh Smith became the youngest player in NBA history to record 900 blocks on Friday night.

Celtics Won't Suspend Davis For Fight

The Celtics have decided not to suspend forward Glen Davis for his role in a fight that led to a broken thumb earlier this week.

Carter Sprains Ankle As Magic Beat Nets

Magic guard Vince Carter sprained his ankle in the team's 95-85 win over the Nets on Friday night.

Duhon: Knicks Didn't Take Friday Game Seriously

Chris Duhon told the media that his teammates were not serious about Friday's game in Charlotte.

Wall Must Repay Expenses But Cleared To Play

John Wall has been cleared to play for Kentucky.

Daye Working On Speed, Agility Over Adding Bulk

The career of Pistons rookie Austin Daye will begin on Friday night against the Thunder.

K-Mart: I Haven't Felt This Good In Years

Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin is feeling healthier now than he has in several years.

Lakers Aren't Worried About Gasol's Injury

Lakers coach Phil Jackson isn't worried about Pau Gasol's lingering hamstring injury.

Losing At Video Games Motivates Durant

Thunder star Kevin Durant gets motivated when he plays video games.

Iverson Says He's 'Ready To Play'

Allen Iverson claims that he's ready to make his debut for the Grizzlies.

Magic Struggled With Decision To Trade Courtney Lee

The Magic had a hard time letting go of Courtney Lee in the June trade that got them Vince Carter.

Stojakovic Will Still Come Off The Bench

Hornets forward Peja Stojakovic is the team's highest-paid player, but he'll be coming off the bench this season.
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