NBA News for December 2nd, 2008
|Amare Stoudemire Has No Preference about Staying in Phoenix
"As a player, you should look at the teams you might want to play for. The city you may want to live in. The system you may want to play in. The economy. The cost of living. Everything. It’s about what’s best for you."
When told that fans have taken his words to mean he is eyeing a move out of Phoenix, Stoudemire said: "I have no idea. I have no clue. It will play out how it plays out. Nostradamus is long gone, and there is no one else who can predict the future right now. You never know how it ends up."
Does that mean he has no preference when it comes to staying or leaving?
"No, I really don’t," he said. "I just want to win. I just want to win. I’m just trying to improve as a player. As a team, we’re trying to get better. That’s the main focus right now, to improve."
|Rodney Rogers Taken to Hospital in Helicopter after ATV Accident
Former NBA standout Rodney Rogers was hospitalized after getting injured while riding an all-terrain vehicle.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol said Monday that Rogers was four-wheeling in the woods in rural Vance County north of Raleigh on Saturday when he fell off the vehicle.
A patrol spokesman said Rogers was taken by helicopter to Duke University Hospital in Durham. His condition wasn’t immediately known Monday night.
|Phil Jackson Repeats Anti-Gun Stance
"There’s a pretty strong argument in the NBA about carrying guns, a strong anti-gun policy," Jackson said. "It’s really hard to regulate because it’s part of the Constitution. It’s part of what we are in this country. I’m personally against handguns, (and) I think this is something that in itself draws its own problems."
Jackson said he used to deliver a message to his players about carrying guns.
"I haven’t talked about it in the last couple of years," he said. "The NBA has stepped up and talked about it. Their (security) department has talked about it with the players. They certainly got a lesson this weekend that ought to make them alert."
|Larry Hughes Unhappy Coming off Bench
The Bulls need Hughes to provide a spark off the bench and be a leader of the second unit, but it remains to be seen how he’ll react to the role.
"I’m not sure," he said Sunday. "At this point of my career, that’s not a role that I want for myself right now. But I have to go out and play the minutes, play the game."
For one game, at least, Hughes excelled in the role, providing 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting in 24 minutes and playing a key role in the comeback victory. "(Hughes) played well, solid,’’ coach Vinny Del Negro said. "He moved the basketball, made shots, and he’s consistently been doing that. Larry’s been fine. No problems there. We’re gonna try to find him minutes. They’re probably not gonna be as many as he wants, but that’s the situation right now.’’
|Stephon Marbury’s Fate Still in Limbo
The Knicks and Stephon Marbury failed to reach a resolution on the guard’s status during their much-anticipated meeting on Monday, according to Marbury’s lawyer, Hal Biagas.
“It’s not resolved,” Biagas said after emerging from a 35-minute meeting with Knicks president Donnie Walsh.
“We’re keeping it in-house,” Biagas added. “I have no comment. I’ll keep you posted if things happen.”
Marbury, Biagas, and Walsh met at the Knicks training facility on Monday at 2:30 p.m.
|Curry Justifies Benching Allen Iverson
Curry said Monday that he expects his starters will continue to play fewer minutes than they are used to.
Iverson is leading the team with a 36.1-minute average, but he hasn’t played more than 31 in any of the past four games. In 13 seasons, the guard has averaged 41.7 minutes. After the Portland game, Iverson talked about sitting on the bench longer and how his "rhythm isn’t there."
"He’ll probably play fewer minutes than before because this is the best team he’s been on," Curry said. "He’s got very capable guys coming off the bench. For all our starters, they are probably going to play less minutes."
|Houston Comets to Fold
The Houston Comets, a franchise that won the first four WNBA championships, is disbanding.
The league-owned team will be shut down because new owners couldn’t be found.
"You have to build on strength," WNBA president Donna Orender told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "My outlook is to build on the fact that the league has great momentum and in Houston we didn’t have the enough runway to get a deal done in time for the 2009 season. So right now we have to move on."
The WNBA will officially announce the move on Tuesday, which will result in the loss of 37 jobs.
|Mike D’Antoni Unrepentant about Stephon Marbury Decision
With the Knicks are on the verge of severing ties with disgruntled point guard Stephon Marbury, Mike D’Antoni says he doesn’t regret his original decision to bench Marbury at the start of the season.
“No, obviously it wasn’t a snap decision,” D’Antoni said. “It was a decision made over months and months for what is better for the team. And I try to do what is better for the team. Can you argue that it’s not all good? Sure, I’m not full proof in any decision. I realized everything that could happen.”
“Everybody is looking for a solution and resolve the problem,” D’Antoni said. “It didn’t work out the way anyone thought or hoped. Everybody is looking for closure.”
|Knicks Offered Michael Jordan Huge Deal in 1996
In the end, Jordan signed a one-year $30 million contract with the Bulls, and then in 1997-98, a one-year $33 million deal for his final Bulls contract. But there were some at the time who believed Jordan, like LeBron James now, wanted the Madison Square Garden/New York City spotlight to conclude his glorious career. Though it’s also a function of the players there at the time, and the Knicks of 1996-97 were a good team with Patrick Ewing, a healthy Allan Houston and Jordan’s best buddy, Charles Oakley. With Jordan, they likely would have been champions. They seemed a lot better prepared to guarantee Jordan a title than they would now with James in two years.
ITT was a part owner and one of its properties was Sheraton Hotels. Though any compensation other than salary has to be included in the salary cap, strange things can happen in the NBA regarding a New York franchise. So the plan being cooked up was to somehow—I never heard quite how—get Jordan substantial Sheraton holdings, perhaps in endorsement money which would be separate from the salary cap and seemingly within the rules.
Jordan was just concluding his eight-year $25 million contract with the Bulls, signed in 1988 as the Bulls only re-negotiation ever. It was precedent setting at the time with no athlete ever making as much, but soon outdated with expanding league revenue and salary cap. Jordan stuck to it, and perhaps as thanks, the Bulls paid him his full basketball salary the 18 months Jordan was out playing baseball.