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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

22 Invited To Play For Team USA

ESPN's Chris Sheridan says 22 players are being invited to attend a training camp to get a chance to play for team USA.

Notable players include; Amare Stoudemire, Kobe Bryant, Elton Brand, Dwayne Wade, Paul Pierce, and LeBron James.  The big name missing however, is Allen Iverson who despite playing for the 2004 USA Olympic team, was not invited to the training camp.  

The training camp will take place in mid-July in Las Vegas.  This USA is planning to attend the World Championships in Japan and 15 of the 22 will be part of the team.  

"The U.S. team will be coached by Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, who will be assisted by Phoenix Suns head coach Mike D'Antoni, the Portland Trail Blazers' Nate McMillan and Jim Boeheim of Syracuse University."

Via ESPN

Sonics Waive Brunson

The Seattle Sonics have requested waivers on Rick Brunson.  

Brunson averaged 2.5 points and 0.5 assists in four games this season with the Sonics.

Via Sonics Press Release

A Knicks Meeting Of The Minds

Isiah Thomas, who planned to fly to Europe on a scouting trip Monday, instead was summoned to San Antonio by team owner James Dolan for a high-level meeting with Larry Brown and the rest of the Madison Square Garden brass to discuss the debacle that is the Knicks, the Newark Star-Ledger is reporting.

Tuesday in Memphis, it is assumed Thomas will meet with Dolan, Brown, team president and COO Steve Mills, and vice chairman of Madison Square Garden Hank Ratner, where they can discuss the Knicks' performance that has resulted in a 15-41 record.

Following Monday might's loss to the Spurs, Dolan and Thomas spent a few moments in the locker room and then headed to Memphis in Dolan's private jet, the Star-Ledger reported.

Dolan makes regular visits to the team's training facility in Westchester, where he meets with Thomas, Brown and Mills. But apparently he didn't want to wait.

Via Sportsline

Maggette Cleared For Full-Contact Practice

Clippers swingman Corey Maggette has been cleared by team physician Dr. Tony Daly to resume full-contact practice with the team following an examination this morning. No timetable has been set for Maggette?s return to game action.

Maggette, who is averaging 21.7 points and 5.5 rebounds in 13 games this season, has missed the last 38 games after separating a ligament in his left foot during the Clippers December 5 victory over the Miami Heat at STAPLES Center. His foot was placed in a cast following the injury and was removed in Los Angeles on January 31. Maggette, who has been rehabilitating the injury during the month of February, is officially listed as day-to-day.

Clippers center Chris Kaman, who missed his first game of the season with a sprained left ankle in last night?s victory over Charlotte at STAPLES Center, is also listed as day-to-day. In 54 games this season, Kaman is averaging career-highs of 11.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.

Via Clippers Press Release

Toronto Officially Hires Colangelo

The Toronto Raptors have made it official. Bryan Colangelo is their new president and general manager.

The Raptors aimed for the top in hiring Colangelo, the NBA's 2005 executive of the year after the retooled Phoenix Suns won a league-high 62 games. The 40-year-old Colangelo spent 17 years with the Suns, the past 11 as general manager. In the 2004 off-season, he lured Canadian guard Steve Nash away from Dallas, and Nash went on to earn Most Valuable Player honours that season.

"I'm ready to branch out," Colangelo said during a news conference Tuesday. "I've got 15 very good years behind me with respect to what's gone on in Phoenix and my participation there . . . This is just the next step in what I hope to be a long and fortuitous career."

Colangelo steps into a favourable situation in Toronto. He will have salary cap room, roster spots, a good draft pick and a budding young star in Chris Bosh.

"There's just so many positive things about the opportunity that Wayne (interim GM and team adviser Wayne Embry) has established in terms of the cap flexibility and the ability to look at free agency in a different light and perhaps explore trade opportunities to acquire the necessary pieces," said Colangelo. "It's not unlike a team we had in Phoenix a couple years ago."

Via Slam! Sports

Wolves Owner Continues To Support McHale

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said he continues to support Kevin McHale, the team's vice president of basketball operations, through what has been a difficult season on the court for the franchise.

McHale has drawn criticism for the Wolves' 24-31 record this season and a series of personnel moves that haven't sparked the team toward a run at the playoffs.

"He has my confidence because I've worked with him all these years," Taylor said.

Via Pioneer Press

Russell And Sonics Discuss Buyout

Bryon Russell, a 13-year veteran coming off a knee injury in the preseason, is still in talks with the Sonics about his status.

"He was the consummate professional. I talked to him on the phone and told him, 'Hey, to get the deal done, you had to be in the deal. I don't want you to catch a flight and fly to Seattle if it's not a good situation for you,' " general manager Rick Sund said.

Via Seattle PI

Source: Iverson Not Invited To Play For US Team

The U.S. Olympic Committee, headed by managing director Jerry Colangelo, has sent out contracts to 22 NBA players, 2 college players, and 1 high school player.

And sources indicate Allen Iverson, despite publicly and privately expressing his desire to be a member of the team, is not one of the select few recieving one of those contracts.

Instead he is about to recieve a letter thanking him for his interest. As one of the sources stated: "We tried to make the letters as appreciative and professional as possible. The idea was to try and bring people down softly."

Iverson, who has not yet recieved formal confirmation of this decision, has nonetheless heard the rumors. His response was simple: "Thanks for considering me," he said. "Now, I get to spend time with my kids in the summer."

The 25 invitees will be announced by Colangelo and U.S. head coach Mike Krzyzewski, this Sunday, live on ABC.

Via Philadelphia Inquirer

Nene Has Hopes Of Returning To Play This Season

Nene has been recovering strongly for the Denver Nuggets, and according to the Denver Post he has hopes of coming back this season.

He is expected to begin practicing in April.

"I will work as hard as I can to come back as quickly as possible," Nene said. "If the timing works out that I can practice or play, that is great. I want to get back to playing as soon as possible and get this setback behind me.

"I am told I am ahead of schedule. I have regained my muscle mass and am starting to work on my movements. The knee feels strong. I am told I will be 100 percent in the next few months."

Said Vandeweghe: "He's looking awful good, and he's in great shape. The knee is really healing well. The doctors are excited."

Via Denver Post

Looks Like Tim Thomas May Go West

Look for Tim Thomas to go West after his buyout from Chicago, the Newark Star-Ledger is reporting, after Bulls GM John Paxson told agent Arn Tellem that he is determined to give Thomas the money he has left on his $14 million contract and allow him to become a free agent, but only if Thomas subsequently signs with San Antonio or Phoenix.

Although no agreement has been reached between Thomas and the Bulls, the latter have the upper hand with the March 1 deadline just around the corner.  Players who are not waived before Wednesday are not eligable for the playoffs.

So once again it comes down to money for Tim Thomas.  Does he take a lower buyout in exchange for full freedom in choosing a new team this season, or does he take all the money and become a Spur or Sun?

Via Newark Star-Ledger

Suns Probably Won't Name An Interim GM

Steve Kerr, Robert Sarver's lead basketball adviser, said he is not interested in the general manager's job "for the foreseeable future."

Magic In Talks To Put A New Arena In Tourist Zone Instead Of Downtown

Garnett Fined $5,000 For Throwing Ball Into Stands

McNuggets The Recipe For Knicks Blowout Loss In D.C.

Lakers Send Von Wafer To Fort Worth

Colangelo To Toronto

Bryan Colangelo, Suns? President and General Manager, has resigned his position with the team to take the same position with the Toronto Raptors.

Detroit Sends Johnson To The D-League

Utah Looking To Sign A Shooting Guard

Has Brown Lost Half The Team?

Colangelo Decision Expected This Morning

Kiki Calls Report That He Doesn't Expect To Return 'Ridiculous'

Knicks Run-And-Gun? No Way, Says Larry

Bulls' Skiles Denies He Plays Favorites

Cavaliers Crying Foul On Pistons' Wallace

The Cavaliers believe that Detroit's Rasheed Wallace got off extremely lightly after his hard foul on Cleveland center Zydrunas Ilgauskas on Sunday.

Has Brown Lost His Team?

K.G. Ejected After Ball Strikes Fan

Wolves superstar Kevin Garnett was ejected during the third quarter of Minnesota's home game against Memphis after tossing the ball into the stands, inadvertently hitting a fan in the face.

Swift Set To Return On Tuesday

Carter Leaves Game With Hamstring Cramp

Vince Carter left with a hamstring cramp in the first quarter and the Nets never recovered in a disappointing 101-91 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

Riley Fuels Speculation That He May Not Return

Mike James Wants To Remain In Toronto

?They?ve shown that they like me, and want me,? said Raptors' guard Mike James. ?I would really like to go back.?
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