NBA News for December 5th, 2008
|Stephon Marbury to Knicks: Waive Me or Let Me Play
"If they give me a uniform, I’m going to go out and play," Marbury told The Post yesterday. "It’s their choice. I was getting ready to go back to practice and play [after Saturday’s suspension]."
It was a departure from his comments made on Thanksgiving when he said, "This needs to end. The marriage is over."
Knicks president Donnie Walsh said he expects Marbury buyout talks to resume following Monday’s failed meetings. The sides are now $3 million apart after Marbury withdrew his offer to take $1 million less than his contract, which has him earning $21.9 million.
"The negotiations are over," Marbury said. "That’s what they don’t realize. I was wrong to try to buy my freedom. The money is off the table. I came to them with the million dollars. I didn’t have to give them nothing."
|Mike Dunleavy Accuses Dwyane Wade of Regularly Palming
"His ability to carry the ball right now, he’s getting away with that," Dunleavy said. "He (carries) left to right, right to left, but he just does it fast so nobody sees it, I guess."
Dunleavy, who cited Wade as playing in "a class above the rest," compared what he views as Wade’s palming violations to a signature move of former NBA scoring standout Bernard King.
Wade was called for palming violations in consecutive games last month against the Raptors and Wizards while attempting change-of-direction dribbles. The league has made such calls a point of emphasis this season.
"Sometimes you get called for it, sometimes you don’t," Wade said. "Everybody palms the ball every once in a while."
|Lakers, Bulls Most Profitable Teams; Mavericks Operating at a Loss
The Lakers are worth $584 million and are the second-most valuable NBA franchise behind the New York Knicks, according to an annual report on all 30 teams by Forbes magazine.
The Lakers were worth $24 million more than last year’s valuation and also had the league’s second-highest operating profit — $47.9 million (on $191 million in revenues.)
The Knicks ($613 million) are followed by the Lakers and Bulls ($504 million).
The Clippers are valued 25th at $297 million.
The magazine also said the Bulls enjoyed the biggest operating profit in the past year ($55.4 million). Forbes claimed that all top 10 NBA teams were profitable, with one exception — Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks posted an operating loss of $13.6 million.
|Cuttino Mobley Undergoing Further Tests for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
According to a source close to Mobley, he insisted on seeing Dr. Maron after he failed his Knicks’ physical because of an unlarged heart.
Mobley, obtained two weeks ago from the Clippers, was expected to meet with Knicks president Donnie Walsh today but that has been pushed back to next week until all the test results on his heart can be gathered. The source could not confirm Mobley took a DNA test, just that he underwent tests with Dr. Maron.
One source said Mobley has mulled taking a medical retirement, depending on the results of the series of heart tests. However because this was a preexisting condition it is unclear if he has the standard insurance stipulations in his contract. Mobley has seen at least two other specialists before Maron. It has been reported Mobley signed a waiver with the Clippers, absolving them of liability.
|George Karl: Chauncey Billups Is an MVP Candidate
Steve Nash won the NBA MVP award — twice, actually, during years when Kobe Bryant and Le- Bron James each averaged 30-plus points per game. But Nash was the floor general of the Suns, making average players good and good players great.
Yes, it’s early in the season, but a similar argument could be made for Denver point guard Chauncey Billups.
"The trade," Nuggets coach George Karl said, "had a very positive karma, from wherever you want to stand — from a fan standpoint, from an organization standpoint, from a coaching standpoint, from a locker room standpoint. Every place, there is a karma that’s good. I think MVP candidates are those type of guys.
"It’s not that they’re the best player — it’s that they’re the most valuable player."
|NBA’s Only Female Scout Poses Nude for PETA
While the economic downturn has caused many to lose their shirts, former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Bonnie-Jill Laflin has lost all her clothes in a racy new PETA ad designed to help people avoid bankrupting their health. Lying nude on top of a desk in front of two panicky Wall Street traders, Laflin urges them to "bank on your health: Go vegetarian!" The ad—which is slated to debut next week in New York City’s financial district—goes on to advise, "From heart disease to impotence, from obesity to diabetes, eating meat could bankrupt your body. Whatever else you may lose, save your health."
Adds Laflin, who now is the only female NBA scout and works for the Lakers, "These are uncertain times, to say the least, but one thing that everyone can be sure of is that by kicking the meat habit and going vegetarian, they’re doing the best thing that they can for their health—and for animals and the environment."
|Report: Rodney Rogers Paralyzed from Shoulders Down
Former NBA and college basketball star Rodney Rogers is paralyzed as the result of an all-terrain vehicle accident, his college coach told the News & Observer of Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
Rodney Rogers was one of the NBA’s best sixth men and a respected 3-point shooter during his 12-year pro career.
Dave Odom, who coached Rogers when he earned All-America honors at Wake Forest and was the 1993 ACC Player of the Year, said Wednesday that his former star is paralyzed from the shoulders down, according to the report.
"Say a prayer for Rodney and his family,’’ Odom said, according to the newspaper.
|Phil Jackson: Lakers Won’t Get 70 Wins this Year
"I don’t think there’s any chance that we’re going to get anywhere close to 70 wins," he said. "I’m not going to say that we can’t win 60, but I don’t think that there’s a chance [at 70] — and that’s if everything goes well health-wise. Traveling in the West is just too difficult. Changing time zones, it just makes it very difficult to be consistent night in and night out on the road."
Jackson has said in the past that centrally located teams (such as, well, Chicago) aren’t as fatigued because they never have cross-country trips. In fact, Kobe Bryant spoke with him a few years ago about the favorable geography of that Bulls team.
"Chicago is smack-dab in the middle, so the travel time isn’t as big as going from the West Coast all the way to the East Coast. It’s a three-hour trip either way you look at it," Bryant said Wednesday. "Those players are more well-rested, have more energy, better legs. It’ll be extremely difficult for any team to do that now, particularly a team that’s on the West Coast."