March 2010 Basketball Wiretap

Timberwolves, Wizards Snap 16-Game Losing Streaks

Mar 31, 2010 11:41 PM

Both the Minnesota Timberwolves and Washington Wizards snapped 16-game losing streaks on Wednesday.

Minnesota defeated the Sacramento Kings, 108-99, at the Target Center behind 19 points and 12 rebounds from Al Jefferson.  The 16 consecutive losses tied a franchise record.

Washington won in New Orleans, 96-91, behind a season-high 27 points from Mike Miller.  The mark of 16 straight losses is a new franchise record.

It was both team's first and only win in the month of March.

Brian Reynolds/RealGM

Tags: Minnesota Timberwolves, Washington Wizards, NBA

Kentucky's Orton To Test NBA Waters

Mar 31, 2010 10:03 PM

Daniel Orton, Kentucky's freshman center, will test the NBA Draft waters, but will not sign with an agent, leaving open the possibility that he could return for his sophomore season.

Larry Orton, the player?s father, confirmed the move Wednesday night.

Orton, a 6-foot-10, 255-pound center, did not start a game this season for the Wildcats. He averaged 3.4 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in 13.2 minutes, primarily as the backup to starter DeMarcus Cousins.

But Orton?s size and skill might make him attractive to NBA teams.

?We had some teams say there was interest,? Larry Orton said. ?They?re saying he could go anywhere from 1-20.?

The Courier-Journal

Tags: NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft

Rivers Calls Harden A 'Mini' Pierce

Mar 31, 2010 7:49 PM

Celtics coach Doc Rivers complimented Thunder rookie guard James Harden prior to Wednesday night's game by comparing him to Paul Pierce.

Rivers said Harden, who is averaging 10.0 points and 3.2 rebounds, is like a "mini" version of the multi-time All-Star.

Both Harden and Pierce played high school basketball in Los Angeles.

"He's more similar to Pierce than anyone else I've seen in the league," Rivers told reporters.

Rivers added that Pierce would play on Wednesday night against Oklahoma City.

"He's gonna go," the coach said.

When asked if Pierce had recovered from a shoulder stringer, Rivers said: "I guess, because he's playing.

"You don't know what causes stingers. You gotta call coach [Bill] Belichick, that's a football injury."

Andrew Perna/RealGM

Tags: Boston Celtics, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

Jackson: Vujacic Had 'Run-In' With Coaches

Mar 31, 2010 7:11 PM

Lakers head coach Phil Jackson explained to reporters prior to Wednesday's game in Atlanta that Sasha Vujacic did not play in Houston or New Orleans because of a "little run-in with the coaching staff in Oklahoma City."

Jackson added, "Sasha hasn't atoned for it yet, and when he does, he'll be back in good graces."

Vujacic responded by repeatedly saying, "I do not know what he is talking about."

Jackson also told reporters that Vujacic has failed in coming through on a promise that he made back in October.
"There's a promise that he made to us before the season that he hasn't fulfilled," Jackson said.  "I'll let him explain it, if he wants to."

When asked to explain Vujacic said, "I dont know.  Ask him.  I don't know what he's talking about."

It was clear, however, that Vujacic was visibly upset about his lack of playing time.

"I'm out of the rotation," he said.  "When they're winning, I'm not playing.  When they're losing, I'm not playing.  When the team is down by 20, I might get three minutes."

Brian Reynolds/RealGM

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, NBA

Howard Continues To Be One Of NBA's Most Accessible Superstars

Mar 31, 2010 7:09 PM

Dwight Howard?s outgoing personality has helped him become one of the most likable athletes in the world.

His popularity was fully displayed on Tuesday as his fans flocked to the Florida Mall to watch him help launch the official NBA Shop at Champs Sports.  The four-time All-Star worked the register and helped fans choose from the wide assortment of exclusive Adidas NBA apparel the NBA Shop has to offer. It was a chance for Howard to help the league that has catapulted him to fame, but more importantly a chance for him to interact with his fans.

?For all of these people to come, shows me how much support we have and how the Magic have grown since we started,? Howard said. ?I?m happy to be a part of it.?

The 24-year-old superstar genuinely loves meeting and greeting his fans. He had his chance on Tuesday as approximately 500 fans stood shoulder to shoulder inside the store waiting to get a glimpse of Champs Sports? newest and tallest employee.

Adidas, Champs Sports and the NBA partnered together in Feb. 2010 to launch the official NBA Shop at Champs Sports. The shop has debuted in 69 stores nationally and will be in the remaining 486 Champs stores by the start of the 2010-11 NBA season.

Howard didn?t disappoint as he gave high-fives and fist bumps to everyone within reach of his massive wingspan.  He showcased his charisma with jokes and his trademark impressions.  Some of the fans in attendance were surprised at how easygoing Howard truly is. But the truth is, off the court Howard is just as ordinary as the next guy.

?I?m a real person and that?s what you want people to know,? Howard said. ?I try to show people another side of me. It?s not always about putting the ball in the basket; it?s about winning the hearts of people.?

Giving fans the opportunity to meet someone they idolize is a big deal to Howard. As a young man he didn?t have the chance to meet anyone that he looked up to.  He understands that giving some of his time can have a positive impact on many people.

?I?ve always wanted to meet someone that I looked up to,? Howard said. ?Wilt Chamberlin and Kevin Garnett were people I wanted to meet but never had an opportunity. I know how the fans feel when they see someone they idolize see on TV and magazines. I want to show them I?m not on a different level where I can?t be touched; I can be touched.?

The love Howard received from the fans will fuel him for the upcoming playoffs. The Magic currently have the NBA?s third-best record and look to be peaking at the right time. Howard loves to play for the fans and looks forward to giving them something to be excited about.

Jarrod Rudolph/RealGM

Tags: Orlando Magic, NBA

Mavs Looking For 10th Straight 50-Win Season

Mar 31, 2010 5:38 PM

With a victory over the Grizzlies on Wednesday night, the Mavericks will record their tenth consecutive 50-win season.

Since the NBA expanded to an 82-game schedule in 1967-68, only two teams have reached at least 50 victories 10 or more times in a row.

The Lakers did it 12 straight times 1979-80 through 1990-91 and San Antonio has accomplished the feat 10 straight seasons entering this one.

San Antonio's streak, however, may be in jeopardy.

The Spurs have 44 wins entering Wednesday's action, giving them just nine games to notch six wins.

Tags: Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, NBA

Wade Asking For Sole Custody Of Sons

Mar 31, 2010 5:31 PM

Heat star Dwyane Wade has asked a court to grant him full custody of his two young sons.

The request adds to an already drawn-out divorce proceeding between Wade and his estranged wife.

Wade has also asked that his wife be ordered to undergo a psychological examination.

The couple has two boys, ages 8 and 2.

"For more than two years, I have tried to make peace with Siohvaughn concerning our divorce and custody of our kids," Wade said in a statement.

"I no longer believe that's possible. Siohvaughn has consistently attempted to interrupt or prevent me from having visitation time with our boys."


Tags: Miami Heat, NBA

NBA Giving Fans An MVP Vote

Mar 31, 2010 5:28 PM

The NBA is giving fans a say in this season's MVP race.

The league announced Wednesday that fans can make their pick for the league's Most Valuable Player. The combined fan choice will count for one vote on the official ballot.

The other 124 votes will come from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters.

LeBron James is the reigning NBA MVP.


Tags: NBA

Cavaliers To Rest Varejao's Leg

Mar 31, 2010 5:26 PM

The Cavaliers will hold Anderson Varejao out of Wednesday's game against the Bucks.

Varejao missed Cleveland's last game with a sore left hamstring.

He left Friday's game against the Spurs because of leg soreness.


Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA

No Bonus Nike Money For LeBron In NYC Or LA

Mar 31, 2010 4:48 PM

LeBron James has agreed to a new deal with Nike and the contract won't have bonus clauses that could trigger if he plays in a specific city, according to a report from the Plain Dealer.

There has frequently been speculation about LeBron's contract, as well as others, that there could be added money from Nike if a player is in a big market such as New York or Los Angeles.

Plain Dealer

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, NBA

Wizards Sign Cedric Jackson To 10-Day Deal
The Wizards have signed Cedric Jackson.

Press Release

Jawai Re-Assigned To D-League
Minnesota Timberwolves center/forward Nathan Jawai has been re-assigned to the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

Press Release

Thunder Re-Sign Shakur
The Oklahoma City Thunder today re-signed Mustafa Shakur of the Tulsa 66ers.

Press Release

Angry At Himself, Gallinari Takes Blame For Loss
Danilo Gallinari held himself accountable for a Knicks' loss.

New York Times

NBA Recaps For Tues., 3/30 (Suns Get In)
Needing a win to improve their playoff chances, the Bulls crumbled in the fourth quarter against the Suns.

Andrew Perna/RealGM

Bulls Have No Target Date For Deng
The Bulls haven't had Luol Deng since March 11.

Chicago Sun-Times

Wright May Be Out Of Chances In Miami
Dorell Wright will hit the market this summer.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Foyle Hopes To Become A GM
Adonal Foyle is looking towards a front office job after his playing days.

Orlando Sentinel

Suns Beat Bulls, Clinch Playoff Berth
The Suns are now looking to secure home-court advantage.


Boozer Thinks LeBron Will Stay In Cleveland
Carlos Boozer doesn't think LeBron James will leave Cleveland.

New York Post

Van Gundy, Izzo Could Be Candidates For Nets
Jeff Van Gundy and Tom Izzo could be candidates for New Jersey.

Yahoo! Sports

Childress Weighing Return To NBA
Josh Childress can opt out of his contract in Greece after this season.

USA Today

Kenyon Martin Unsure Of Return This Season
Kenyon Martin has missed 14 consecutive games with a left knee injury.

Yahoo! Sports

Boozer Intrigued By Talk Of Joining Knicks
Carlos Boozer has said that he wants to re-sign with the Jazz.

New York Post

Chances Of Yao Opting Out Are 'Remote'
Yao Ming said over the weekend that he might consider opting out of his contract.

Yahoo! Sports

Rose: Bulls Will Make Postseason
The Bulls are one game behind the Raptors for the eighth seed in the East.


Wizards Sign Cartier Martin To 10-Day Deal
Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed guard/forward Cartier Martin to a ten-day contract.

Press Release

O'Connor Talks About Utah's 'Painless' Lottery Pick
Kevin O'Connor is looking forward to taking the Knicks' spot in the lottery.

New York Times

NBA Recaps For Mon., 3/29 (Nets Get No. 10)
The Nets avoided history on Monday night by beating the Spurs for their 10th win of the season.

Andrew Perna/RealGM

Wizards May Sign Cartier Martin
The Wizards may look to Cartier Martin.

Washington Post