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Basketball Wiretap
Basketball news gathered from around the net.

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

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

Khem Birch, who has yet to decide where he will transfer after leaving Pittsburgh, said he's in no rush to turn pro.

"I'm not in a rush to get to the NBA," Birch said. "I know I have a lot of work to do."

Birch indicated that he’d like to play in an up-tempo system where he can develop his power forward skills.

"I want to play more four," Birch said. "That's one of the main reasons I went to Pittsburgh in the first place. I know I don't have the four-man skills yet, but I want to develop them."

Via CBSSports.com

Scouts Question Fab Melo's Consistency

NBA scouts want to see Syracuse center Fab Melo be more consistent before they consider him pro ready.

“[The] biggest issue with him is can he consistently look like a first round pick night in and night out for them,” one NBA scout said.

“Until and unless he can do that he will be considered as simply a player who came in with great hype but hasn’t lived up to it.”

Melo seems well aware of the criticisms against him and promises that there will be more nights like Wednesday.

“No, there will be more for sure,” he said. “I am going to work a lot and my game is going to get better.”

Via Adam Zagoria/ZagsBlog.com

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

Dwyane Wade's short bank shot with 2.9 seconds left lifted the Heat to a 96-95 victory over the Bobcats on Wednesday, marking just the second potential game-winning field goal for the Heat dating back to last season.

Last year, the Heat were 1-for-18 from the field and 0-for-11 from 3-point range when looking to tie or take the lead in the last 10 seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime.

LeBron James was 1-for-7 in those situations, with the lone make coming on a fast-break dunk off a turnover with 5.5 seconds against the Grizzlies. Wade was 0-for-5.

Via NBA.com

Suns Sign Michael Redd

The Phoenix Suns have signed Michael Redd, the team announced .

“Michael Redd has a proven pedigree as a first-rate NBA scorer,” said Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “He will work with our renowned training staff to get into basketball shape. When he is ready to play, Michael will be a welcome addition to our team.”

Via Press Release

Clippers Reportedly Interested In Przybilla

Consider the Clippers one of the many teams hoping to sign Joel Przybilla.

The Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks also have expressed interested in the 7-foot-1, 245-pound free-agent center.

Przybilla's agent, Bill Duffy, confirmed Wednesday that the Clippers have interest in his client.

Przybilla played in just 38 games last season because of knee injuries.

Via Broderick Turner/Los Angeles Times

Lakers Making Concerted Effort To Free Kobe Off Ball

Kobe Bryant's attempted 47 shots, 19 of which are classified as dribble jumpers by Synergy Sports – a mark that is consistent with his recent increase in this shot type.

However, what is readily apparent  – even in such a small sample size – is the concerted effort Los Angeles is making to help him create space. It isn’t unusual to see someone like Derek Fisher set a down screen for Kobe in the corner, allowing him to flash up then curl off a handoff from Josh McRoberts.

In fact nearly 40 percent of his 64 total possessions have come via screen, handoff or pick-and-roll. In the previous four seasons, those play-types never accounted for even 20 percent of his offense.

Via Joey Whelan/HoopSpeak.com

Popovich Impressed By Kawhi Leonard's Basketball IQ

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said it’s still way too early to make any assessment of rookie Kawhi Leonard’s role on the team.

“It’s only been one game, but there’s more there than I expected, as a general statement,” Popovich said. “Both basketball IQ-wise and skill-wise, there’s more than I expected.

“He only played two years in college so you figure he’s got a lot to learn, but he does that pretty darn quickly.”

Leonard was the first player off the Spurs bench Wednesday night against the Clippers, replacing Richard Jefferson barely 5 minutes into the game.

Via Tim Griffin/San Antonio Express-News

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.

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.

Nowitzki: Mavs Problems Begin On Defense

The Mavericks have suffered two consecutive blowout home losses to start the season.

Green Vows To Return Stronger For Celtics

Jeff Green will have surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm and will miss the entire season.

Jazz Plan To Use 13-Man Rotation

Tyrone Corbin believes he should be able to use 13 players in his first full season with the Jazz.

Blatche Responds To Critics; Saunders Brushes Off Comments

Andray Blatche talked about his criticisms over the play-calling in the Wizards' season-opening loss.

Ostertag Signs With D-League Texas Legends

Greg Ostertag retired after the 2005-06 season.

Warriors Sign Fesenko

Kyrylo Fesenko has agreed to a one-year deal with the Warriors.

Source: Magic Seeking Veterans In Deal For Howard

The Magic hope to remain competitive after the departure of Dwight Howard.

Cole Scores Nine Straight Points In Final Three Minutes Before 'MVP' Chant Breaks Out

Norris Cole scored 20 points, shooting 8 of 16 from the field, to go along with four rebounds and four assists.

Bosh Adjusting To Heat's New Offensive Philosophy

Chris Bosh is still learning Erik Spoelstra's new "pace and space" offensive philosophy.
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