Basketball Wiretap

Rockets Won't Pursue Strategy Of 'The Process'

Mar 6, 2021 3:26 PM

The Houston Rockets have not interest in pursuing their version of "The Process," according to a source.

"The Process" would entail the Rockets trading off veterans to collect assets and also improve their lottery chances.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have the right to switch draft picks with the Rockets unless the pick lands in the top-4. Unless selecting in the top four picks of the draft, the Rockets would get the worst from among Oklahoma City’s, Miami’s, and their own pick.

There is significant interest in P.J. Tucker, who would not seem to fit in long-term plans.

Victor Oladipo, who will be a free agent this offseason, is another player who could be dealt.

The Rockets in general believe that Eric Gordon and other players on long-term contracts are on good deals they would be willing to keep.

Jonathan Feigen/Houston Chronicle

Tags: Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Donovan Mitchell Says Referee Calls Are 'Getting Out Of Hand' Against Jazz

Mar 4, 2021 1:37 AM

Donovan Mitchell said that the Utah Jazz are getting "screwed" by refs following their 131-123 overtime loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

"Now, I'm never ever one to blame a ref, to blame an official -- I can say I could have done more -- but this is getting out of hand. There have been games like this that we've won, there have been games like this that we've lost. But this whole refereeing stuff. ... We're nice, we don't complain, like, we don't get frustrated, we fight through things, and the fact that we continually get ... screwed, in a way, by this. You know?

"We won this game, in my personal opinion. You know? But like I said, I'm going to give them credit. They won. Whatever. Cool. But it's been a consistent thing, and the question is, 'Can we do it? Can we sustain it? Are we for real No. 1? And, yeah the hell we are. And it's getting f---ing ridiculous, that this is what is happening," said Mitchell after the game.

Mitchell received his first technical with 57.5 seconds left in overtime, then was ejected after receiving his second technical with 30.5 seconds left.

The Sixers shot 35 free throws in the game, with the Jazz shooting 19.

Rudy Gobert added that the lack of calls was "disrespectful."

"Our guys are not able to get calls everybody else in the f---ing league gets. We know we are the Utah Jazz, and maybe some people don't want to see us go as far as we can go, but it's disappointing ... I think it's disrespectful, to be honest, to the game of basketball and to our team."

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Tags: Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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LeBron James To Sit Out First Game Of Season Versus Kings On Wednesday

Mar 3, 2021 2:44 AM

LeBron James will sit out his first game of the season on Wednesday against the Sacramento Kings, sources told Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The game represents the second half of a back-to-back, with the Lakers losing to the Suns 114-104 on Tuesday night.

His absence will not impact his appearance at the All-Star Game on Sunday.

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Tags: LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA All-Star, NBA B-Ball IQ

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James Harden Hopes Love, Appreciation He Showed To Houston 'Can Be Returned'

Mar 3, 2021 1:24 AM

James Harden said that he's hoping to be shown love and appreciation from Houston Rockets fans in his first game back since getting traded to the Brooklyn Nets.

"The love and the appreciation that I've given to that city and that I still give to that city, I'm hoping that the favor can be returned," Harden told ESPN.

Harden admitted that the situation before the trade could have gone smoother. 

"It just didn't go as well -- as smooth -- as I planned. The communication between myself and the front office got a little shaky. And now I look back at it and I see these other scenarios, other situations that are happening, specifically around other players that are in Houston, in different sports. And their transition is going very smooth. And I would've hoped for mine to go that smooth, but it didn't," added Harden.

The Rockets plan to eventually retire Harden's No. 13 jersey.

Harden is currently averaging 25.1 points, 8.4 rebounds and 11.1 assists with the Nets.

Harden added that he feels like he's still a part of Houston.

"I feel like I'm a part of the community. Me now being in Brooklyn, it hasn't changed the way I feel about that city and everything it's done for me. So whether it's trying to feed as many people as I can, get water, as much water as I can to the people that need it."

Malika Andrews/ESPN

Tags: James Harden, Brooklyn Nets, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Nate McMillan To Take Over As Interim Coach Of Hawks

Mar 1, 2021 7:38 PM

Nate McMillan will take over as the interim coach of the Atlanta Hawks, sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

McMillan has a 667-591 record over his 16 seasons as a head coach./

The Hawks fired Lloyd Pierce earlier on Monday. 

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Tags: Atlanta Hawks, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Spurs To Admit Around 3,200 Fans Starting March 12th

Mar 1, 2021 1:32 PM

The San Antonio Spurs announced that they will begin admitting fans back to home games starting March 12th.

The team will allow approximately 3,200 fans for games.

“We are thrilled to welcome our fans back to the AT&T Center,” said RC Buford, Spurs Sports & Entertainment CEO. “We’ve always said we have the best fans in the NBA and playing in an empty arena has reminded us all of how fortunate we are to enjoy the amazing support we receive from our fans. We can’t wait to see, hear and engage with our fans again starting March 12.”

The Spurs are now the 15th team in the league to admit a reduced crowd for home games.

San Antonio Spurs

Tags: San Antonio Spurs, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Kawhi Leonard After Bucks' Loss: 'Our Pace Has Pretty Much Slowed Down'

Mar 1, 2021 12:59 PM

Kawhi Leonard said that the Los Angeles Clippers need to improve on offense following their 105-100 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday.

"As a team, I don't feel like we're there yet. We're looking to the sideline for plays. I feel like our pace has pretty much slowed down.

"You gotta give them credit though. They locked in and tuned in on us, and they got stops when they needed it. So just for us to get better, I feel like we gotta have a better stride, open the floor, just getting down and getting into a play. I felt like we got stagnant a little bit," said Leonard after the loss.

Leonard and Paul George shot 3-for-15 from the field in the fourth quarter, including missing the team's final nine shots.

The Clippers were outscored in transition 22-2, and only went to the line seven times during the game.

Leonard also called for more aggressiveness on offense. 

"I feel like a lot of times we come down, it's one pass, shot, or we're just shooting off the pick and roll. We have good ball movement. I think we're attacking that paint, me and PG, and then it's shots going up. But we'll get better."

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Tags: Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Joakim Noah Retiring From Basketball

Mar 1, 2021 12:34 PM

Joakim Noah is retiring from basketball, sources told Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Noah is a two-time All-Star and a former Defensive Player of the Year.

Noah eventually plans to retire as a Bull. 

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Tags: Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Tom Thibodeau After Knicks Return To .500: All Wins 'Count The Same'

Feb 28, 2021 12:39 PM

Tom Thibodeau said the New York Knicks' 110-107 win over the Indiana Pacers that brought the team back to .500 for the season didn't take on any extra meaning.

The Knicks were at one point down double-digits in the game. 

"One game doesn’t take on more meaning than another. They all count the same. And wherever you end up, that can be the difference between a lot of things.

So we have to understand how important each day is, have to understand how important each practice is, we have to understand how important each possession is. And so if we want to fight for things we say we want to fight for, there’s a price to pay for that, and we have to do that.”

The Knicks are currently 17-17 on the season, and are the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Julius Randle, who finished the game with 28 points and 10 rebounds, added that he took the matchup against Domantas Sabonis personally from a competitive standpoint. 

“As a competitor, sometimes there are just individual matchups that you take -- not personal like you don’t like the other guy -- just personal from a competitive standpoint. So it was that."

Ian Begley/SNY

Tags: Julius Randle, New York Knicks, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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James Harden Says 'There Are Some Similarities' Between Him, Luka Doncic

Feb 28, 2021 12:30 PM

James Harden admitted that he saw "some similarities" between him and Luka Doncic following the Brooklyn Nets' 115-98 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.

"There are some similarities. He never lets anyone speed him up, and he gets what he wants. That's rare for a guy at a young age. I think he's 21 years old. And to be able to dictate the game and control the game like he does, we all know he has a very, very bright future. The Mavs got a special one," said Harden after the game.

The loss snapped the Net's eight-game win streak.

Doncic had 27 points, six rebounds, and seven assists in the game, with the Mavs returning to .500.

Rick Carlisle also acknowledged the similarities between the two players.

"Harden has been in a situation the last few years where the offense has really revolved around him. With our team, it does around Luka similarly, but our style is a little different than Houston and Brooklyn. Both of these guys are generational-type players." 

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Tags: Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Raptors Versus Bulls Postponed On Sunday Due To Contact Tracing

Marc Stein/The New York Times

Jrue Holiday Likely To Return To Bucks On Sunday

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

LeBron James Responds To Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 'There's No Way I Would Ever Just Stick To Sports'

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Brad Stevens Says Kemba Walker 'Willed' Celtics To Win Over Pacers

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Draymond Green Following Career-High 19 Assists: Had To Make It 'Right' After Last Week

Nick Friedell/ESPN

Sergio Scariolo: Coaching Raptors Wasn't Too Different From '1,500 Games I've Coached Before'

Andrew Lopez/ESPN

Kyrie Irving On Leadership Growth: 'It's Not On Me To Lead The Group By Myself'

Colin Martin/SNY

Rockets Hope To Turn Kevin Porter Jr. Into Point Guard

Kelly Iko/The Athletic

Billy Donovan Says Zach LaVine Is 'Deserving Of Being An All-Star'

K.C. Johnson/NBC Sports Chicago

LeBron James Says He Has To 'Adjust Again' Without Anthony Davis

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Steve Kerr: Draymond Green 'Crossed The Line' With Late Ejection

Nick Friedell/ESPN

Devin Booker Calls Chris Paul's Fourth Quarter 'A Work Of Art' After Comeback Win

Andrew Lopez/ESPN

Joel Embiid Says He's 'Unguardable' After 50-Point Career-High

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Nets-Lakers Averages 1.9 Million Viewers, Becomes Most-Watched Game On Cable For Season

Paulsen/Sports Media Watch

Zach LaVine Says Thad Young Is 'MVP Of The Team'

K.C. Johnson/NBC Sports Chicago

Jayson Tatum On Aftereffects of COVID-19: 'You Get Fatigued A Lot Quicker Than Normal'

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Kendrick Nunn Reaches Starter Clause, Increases 2021 Qualifying Offer To $4.7 Million

Bobby Marks/ESPN

Kemba Walker Says Celtics Aren't 'Playing Hard' Following Loss To Wizards

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Kevin Durant On Return To Warriors: 'It Was A Good Vibe All Day'

Malika Andrews/ESPN

Immanuel Quickley On Playing With Derrick Rose: It's 'Like Pickup, Whoever Gets It, Gets It'

Ian Begley/SNY