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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

Pierce Close To Return From Heel Injury

Paul Pierce is impatient to make his season debut, possibly tonight for the Celtics’ home opener against Detroit.

“I’m close very very close,” he tweeted last night.

On Wednesday, Pierce admitted it’s been difficult to watch the start of the season from the bench.

“It’s tough, man, because I can see how my teammates need me,” he said before the Celts’ 97-78 loss to the Hornets. “But I think they’re doing all right out there in a lot of ways.”

Via Mark Murphy/Boston Herald

D'Antoni: Davis Weeks Away From Making Knicks Debut

Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said it could be five weeks before Baron Davis makes his Knicks debut.

“Everything I hear is positive, but there’s no timetable yet,’’ D’Antoni said. “He’s doing everything possible to get ready as soon as he can. But it’s going to be a while. I keep asking him every hour or so. He’s still got about five weeks to go. .’’

Davis, despite his rehab program from a herniated disk, is traveling with the club.

Via Marc Berman/New York Post

Tobias Harris Waiting For Medical Clearance After Dehydration Scare

Bucks rookie Tobias Harris suffered from dehydration after a practice session early in training camp and was taken to the hospital, where he stayed for two nights.

Now he is having his blood levels monitored daily while waiting for full clearance from team doctors.

"When you sit out that many days, you can't be in the best of shape," Harris said. "I've just got to stay confident and push through it."

Bucks athletic trainer Marc Boff said Harris is being monitored for his electrolyte levels, hydration and muscle byproduct levels. One of the muscle tests being done is the creatine kinase or CK test, which measures an enzyme in the blood and can show if muscles have been injured or are healing.

"It's something doctors are really looking into and it's why they're really cautious," Harris said. "That's why I've been cautious also during this time. Each day I have to take it step by step. It's a process."

Via Charles F. Gardner/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Maurice Evans To Have MRI On Sore Right Knee

Maurice Evans remains sidelined with a sore right knee and will get an MRI when the Wizards return home from Milwaukee.

Evans re-signed with the Wizards before their preseason opener but has been unable to practice the past week after development pain and swelling in his surgically-repaired knee.

He said the pain was reminiscent to what he felt before having surgery in August of 2010 to repair torn cartilage in his right knee and is “fearful” that the problem may have returned.

“I got to see why my knee is swollen, and we can go from there, so I can be effective out there,” Evans said. “I know, going out there at 70 percent, 60 percent, isn’t going to help this team right now. We understand that we’ve got guys who are playing and some of them are playing pretty well in my position, so it’s no point in trying. I could be insurance right now, obviously, but the reason they brought me in to be a veteran presence and truly help these young guys.”

Via Michael Lee/Washington Post

Garnett Obtains Stake In Roma Football Club

Boston Celtics All-Star forward Kevin Garnett is about to become a small shareholder in the American-owned Roma football club.

Roma has confirmed that Garnett accepted an offer from James Pallotta, one of the four Boston executives that closed a deal in August to become the first foreign majority owners of a Serie A club.

Pallotta is also a minority owner of the Celtics.

Via Associated Press

Colangelo: 2012 Olympians Will Compare Favorably To Dream Team

Jerry Colangelo expects there will be comparisons next summer between the Dream Team and the 2012 Olympic basketball team.
He says to bring them on.
"I think it will be a fair comparison with the Dream Team," Colangelo said. "Look at the progress our players have made since (winning Olympic gold in) 2008. We have some of the greatest players of all time.

"You're hearing Kobe (Bryant) right up there with the greatest of all time. Dwayne Wade and LeBron (James) are right up there. You've got to add up the names, and you look at the young guys like (Kevin) Durant as an example and (Derrick) Rose as an example. There's so many. There's only been one Dream Team, and that's the way I think it should be. But there's no question our team will be much stronger than we had in 2008. They're more mature, more experienced and we've got more talent."

Via Chris Tomasson/FOXSportsFlorida.com

Michael Jordan Engaged To Model Yvette Prieto

Bobcats majority owner Michael Jordan got engaged over the Christmas holiday, a spokeswoman for the basketball legend confirmed this afternoon.

Jordan has reportedly dated Cuban-born model Yvette Prieto since 2008.

No wedding date has been set.

Via Charlotte Observer

Bakersfield Jam Acquire Jeremy Hazell

The Bakersfield Jam have acquired Seton Hall standout Jeremy Hazell.

Hazell participated in training camp with the Phoenix Suns. The Jam claimed his rights through the league’s “Affiliate Player” rule that allows NBA Development League affiliates to acquire players that were waived from their affiliate’s training camp, and who do not otherwise have their rights held by another team.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Bucks Assign Hobson To Fort Wayne Mad Ants

The Milwaukee Bucks assigned guard Darington Hobson to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Bucks’ NBA D-League affiliate,.  

It marks the first assignment for Hobson this season.

A rookie, Hobson (6-7, 210) appeared in both regular season games for the Bucks, averaging 3.0 points and 2.5 assists.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Grizzlies Waive Brian Skinner

The Memphis Grizzlies waived Brian Skinner, Chris Wallace announced on Thursday.

Skinner (6-9, 255), who originally signed with Memphis on Dec. 10, appeared in one regular season game with the Grizzlies, logging four minutes on Dec. 26 at San Antonio.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Khem Birch In No Hurry To Enter Draft, Hopes To Expand Skill Set

Pittsburgh's style of play did not match the ambitions of Khem Birch.

Scouts Question Fab Melo's Consistency

Syracuse’s Fab Melo is one of the top-rated centers projected in the 2012 draft.

Wade, James Now 2-For-13 On Potential Game-Winning Shots As Teammates

The Heat's struggles to close out games have been well documented.

Suns Sign Michael Redd

The Phoenix Suns have signed Michael Redd.

Clippers Reportedly Interested In Przybilla

The Clippers have the mini mid-level exception of $2.5 million to offer free agents.

Lakers Making Concerted Effort To Free Kobe Off Ball

The Lakers are making an effort to create space for Kobe Bryant to operate offensively.

Popovich Impressed By Kawhi Leonard's Basketball IQ

Spurs rookie Kawhi Leonard was the first player off the bench Wednesday night against the Clippers.

Casey, Raptors Want DeRozan To Set Tone Defensively

The Raptors need DeMar DeRozan to diversity his game.

Suns Struggling Offensively, Nash Blames Lack Of Familiarity

The Suns shot an anemic 32.5 percent in the opening half against the Sixers.

Carlisle: Defense Will Be Mavericks' Primary Focus

Rick Carlisle plans to emphasize defense during film sessions and practices.

Westbrook, Durant Have To Be Separated After Altercation

Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant got into a second quarter altercation.

Michael Redd Works Out For Suns

Michael Redd is a career 20-points-per-game scorer.

Howard Dodges Question About Nets

The Nets are believed to be Dwight Howard's preferred trade destination.

St. John's Harkless Breaks Big East Record Held By Iverson, Murphy

Moe Harkless is one of only five major conference freshmen with a 30-10 game in the past five seasons.

D-Fenders Acquire Mardy Collins In Trade With Energy

The Los Angeles D-Fenders have acquired Mardy Collins and an 8th-round 2012 NBA Development League Draft pick from the Iowa Energy.

Cody Zeller Plans To Unveil Shooting Range

Cody Zeller already has a reliable jumper from 15-feet and it's conceivable that he will work his way beyond the arc.

Kidd-Gilchrist Compares Himself To Tebow

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has helped lead the Wildcats on and off the floor.

Heat Playing At Faster Pace, Averaging 9.3 More Possessions

The Heat finished among the ten slowest-paced teams in the NBA last season.

Deron Williams Facing Extra Attention Without Post Presence

Deron Williams is struggling to find open lanes to the basket.

Cho Developing Scouting Database For Bobcats

Bobcats general manager Rich Cho is creating a comprehensive scouting database as part of his duties for the team.
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