NBA News for November 28th, 2008
|Stephon Marbury: I Wouldn’t Trust D’Antoni to Walk my Dog
Marbury also revealed:
* He hopes to meet with Walsh today.
* D’Antoni told Marbury’s teammates of the guard’s impending exile before the season opener – without informing him.
* He never refused to play, and would have played had D’Antoni given the order.
* His suspicion of D’Antoni is so deep, "I wouldn’t trust him to walk my dog across the street."
Walsh could attempt to fine Marbury for each game he does not play, starting with Wednesday’s loss to Detroit, when the decimated Knicks were down to two guards. That would amount to $199,000 per game (1/110th of Marbury’s $21.9 million wage, as the collective-bargaining agreement states).
|Michael Beasley Still Struggling Defensively
Amare Stoudemire must be licking his chops. Not because today is Thanksgiving, but because the Phoenix All-Star forward could draw Heat rookie Michael Beasley as his primary defender Friday night.
Yes, Beasley’s defense is getting better. But that’s a relative statement. He started as an awful defender. Through hard work he’s improved to the point he’s a bad defender. We won’t re-hash the hit list. Just know that in the past week or so Beasley has twice picked up two quick fouls in the game’s opening two and a half minutes and been relegated to the bench.
Friday’s game against Phoenix might be a repeat performance. Beasley, who remains upbeat, said teams know he’s a poor defender and they attack. The Heat has few options to counter such a strategy.
|Derrick Rose Hasn’t Heard from Michael Jordan
Derrick Rose appears to be the Bulls’ best player since Michael Jordan left the team for good in 1998.
So far, there has been no Chicago basketball summit between Jordan and Rose. Jordan does have a slight conflict of interest now that he is a part-owner of the Charlotte Bobcats.
"I met him a couple of times, been over to his house a couple of times, but never talked to him one-on-one about basketball," Rose said. "I was in high school, before junior and senior year, when I met him a couple times."
|Worldwide Wes: Knicks Are Favorites to Sign LeBron James
LeBron James’ future will be debated and analyzed for the next 20 months. There are already whispers that the Knicks are the early leaders to land the potential free-agent-to-be in 2010.
One person who may have intimate knowledge about LeBron’s next move is William Wesley, a close friend and adviser to the Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star. Wesley is regarded as a powerful insider among the NBA’s top players and executives, with connections to everyone from Michael Jordan to James.
When asked during Wednesday’s Knicks-Pistons game at Auburn Hills if he feels the Knicks are the favorite to sign LeBron in two years, Wesley smiled and said: "Barack Obama could use Donnie Walsh to clear salary-cap space for the country."
|Allen Iverson to Be Fined for Skipping Thanksgiving Practice
Detroit Pistons guard Allen Iverson missed practice Thursday and will be levied a "hefty" fine, coach Michael Curry said.
"I’m surprised when guys are late; I’m surprised when they don’t show," Curry said, according to the Detroit Free Press. "It’s a pretty hefty fine to be late, or to miss, and once again, it’s accountability for yourself and your teammates."
Rodney Stuckey, who scored 13 points and added a career-high 11 assists for his first career double-double Wednesday in a 110-96 victory over New York, will start in Iverson’s place Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Curry said he hadn’t decided whether Iverson would play.
|Stephon Marbury Suspended, Told to Stay away from Team
Stephon Marbury has been suspended for one game by the New York Knicks, who are alleging he refused to play Wednesday night against the Detroit Pistons.
Marbury was suspended without pay for Saturday’s game and was also fined 1/110th of his salary for his actions in Detroit, meaning his penalty amounts to almost $400,000 of his $20.84 million salary for this season.
A source told ESPN.com on Friday that Marbury has been told to stay away from the team at least until Monday, when his status will be re-addressed. He will not practice Friday, nor will he be welcome in the home locker room at Madison Square Garden when the Knicks play the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night.
|Derek Fisher: Lakers Shouldn’t Get Complacent over Strong Start
So, when Fisher answers a question asking him to compare the Lakers’ 12-1 start this season with their 16-1 start in 2001-02, the thing he stresses is that the 2008-09 team has accomplished nothing special so far.
"As quickly as you can win 12 out of 13 or be 16-1, you go through a stretch where things get away from you," he said earlier this week. "It seems like things snowball from there and all the bad stuff comes out from under the rug.
"What I do remember most from that (2001-02) team was that we completed the end mission, which was to win a title. No matter how you start, it’s how you finish that matters."