NBA News for November 9th, 2008
|Could Isiah Thomas Return to Detroit?
Hall-of-Famer Dave Bing, running for mayor in Detroit, said he would love to see the Pistons bring Isiah Thomas back to the organization. Thomas had a long-running feud with owner Bill Davidson but received by far the loudest ovation during the Pistons’ 50th anniversary celebration last April during which he gave Davidson a long embrace.
"I absolutely would like to see him come back, that’s where he made his mark," Bing told The Post while visiting New York to gain David Stern’s support for the February election. "There’s a lot of love for him in our city. They’d wrap their arms around him."
More than two weeks since police said Thomas suffered an accidental sleeping-pill overdose and was rushed to the hospital, Knicks president Donnie Walsh still hasn’t heard from his employee.
|Chris Paul Breaks Oscar Robertson’s Record
Paul became the first player in NBA history to start a season with six games with 20 or more points and 10 or more assists. Paul scored 21 points and had 13 assists. Paul surpassed Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson, who achieved five consecutive games in 1968-69 with the Cincinnati Royals.
"Whatever I can do to help us win, that’s what I’m going to do," Paul said. "It’s an unbelievable honor to be mentioned in the same breath as Oscar Robertson. He averaged a triple double for a full season."
Paul went scoreless until 1:12 remained in the second quarter when he made two free throws. He had five points, eight assists and five rebounds in the first half.
|David Lee Replaced by Wilson Chandler in Starting Five; Lee to Leave NY?
At 25, David Lee is too young to be talking about being replaced by a younger player. But the emergence of 21-year-old Wilson Chandler at power forward and the understanding that Lee likely has a big payday waiting in restricted free agency this summer provide enough writing on the wall. As it is, Mike D’Antoni said yesterday that Chandler again will start in Lee’s place today against the Jazz at the Garden.
The Knicks are a franchise in transition, both literally and figuratively. And though Lee’s ability to rebound, start the break with crisp outlet passes and run the floor make him a good fit for D’Antoni’s up-tempo system, he knows a $10-million-per asking price – that’s where contract extension talks with agent Mark Bartelstein began and ended last month – might change his status with a franchise. From blue chip to trade chip.
|Celtics and 16 Other Teams Interested in Antonio McDyess
An NBA source said that 17 teams, including the Celtics, have expressed interest in signing McDyess. While the Pistons are expected to re-sign the 14th-year power forward, 30 days must pass before he is eligible to sign with Detroit. Those close to McDyess know he desperately wants to win a title, which could improve the Celtics’ hopes of stealing him away during the 30-day window.
The Celtics cannot comment on McDyess until he becomes a free agent. When asked about McDyess prior to last night’s 101-89 win over the Bucks, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said, "I didn’t even hear what you just said. But we’re always looking."
Celtics guard Sam Cassell, who like McDyess has an offseason home in Houston, believes McDyess could be a "huge" addition. McDyess, 34, averaged 8.8 points and 8.5 rebounds for the Pistons last season.
|Rip Hamilton’s Ex-Agent Investigated by NBPA
The NBA Players Association is investigating charges that a former certified player agent stole several hundred thousand dollars from Detroit Pistons star Richard Hamilton and the union says it will turn potential findings over to legal authorities for possible prosecution, Yahoo! Sports has learned.
Hamilton has accused Josh Nochimson of defrauding him over several years as his business manager. Multiple sources say audits indicate the three-time All-Star could’ve been bilked for as much as $500,000.
“It’s just something that you never think, in a million years, can happen to you,” Hamilton told Yahoo! Sports. “You hear about the horror stories, but never think it’ll be you. Never, never you.”
|Stephon Marbury Takes NBPA’s Advice Not to Train with Old H.S.
Knicks guard Stephon Marbury backed off Friday on a plan to practice with his old high school team while he’s not getting playing time with New York.
Marbury had expressed interest Thursday in practicing with his alma mater, Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, to stay in shape while he’s stuck on the bench for the Knicks.
"I’m not going to do it," Marbury said Friday. "I spoke to the Players’ Association and they said it wouldn’t be a good idea."
|Antonio McDyess Likely to Return to Detroit Pistons
NBA front-office sources reiterated Friday that it would be a seismic shock at this point if McDyess didn’t return to the Pistons, even though roughly half the league has registered interest in signing him once he becomes a free agent. "Dice only wants to play in Detroit," one source said, upholding what we reported from the start Monday.
If he sustains that refusal to budge, as expected, McDyess apparently is going to be leaving some money on the table, given that his forthcoming buyout from the Nuggets will almost certainly include a noticeable cut from the $6.8 million he’s owed next season after earning $6.8 million this season. The Pistons, furthermore, don’t have the financial flexibility to pay McDyess as much in a new deal as, say, Cleveland, with the Cavs still possessing $5.1 million of their midlevel exception. Detroit can’t even match what Boston ($2.4 million) or San Antonio ($2.1 million) could offer immediately unless McDyess signs for the rest of the season and then winds up signing a more lucrative one-year contract for next season, which wouldn’t conflict with the Pistons’ plans in the 2010 free-agent market.