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Lakers star Kobe Bryant likely to miss NBA All-Star Game due to lingering knee issue 01.29.14 at 9:22 am ET
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Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is likely to miss the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 16 as he continues to deal with a knee issue. Bryant fractured a bone in his left knee on Dec. 17 and has not played since. The 16-time NBA All-Star tore his left Achilles tendon last April and returned for six games before the knee break.

The initial prognosis on the knee was that it would keep Bryant out for six weeks. According to a recent tweet from the Lakers, it appears Bryant will miss more time. Tweeted the Lakers: INJURY UPDATE: Kobe Bryant was examined tonight & still has pain and swelling in his left knee. Examined again in approximately 3 weeks. 

ESPN Los Angeles quoted Bryant as saying that he felt he didn’t deserve the All-Star honor because of his lack of playing time.

“With all due respect to the fans that voted me in, I certainly appreciate that, they know how much I appreciate that, but you got to do the right thing as well,” Bryant said. “€œMy fans know you got to reward these young guys for the work that they’ve been putting in.”

If Bryant does miss the All-Star Game, a replacement from the Western conference will be chosen by the West All-Star coach.

The Lakers have lost 17 of their last 20 games.

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Nets hold players-only meeting after suffering another disappointing loss 11.19.13 at 11:47 am ET
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The Nets’ latest game against the Trail Blazers on Monday was perhaps the best representation of their season so far, as it was marked by inconsistency and ultimately disappointment.

It's been a rough season for Paul Pierce and the Nets, who held a team meeting after Monday's loss to the Trail Blazers. (AP)

It’s been a rough season for Paul Pierce and the Nets, who held a team meeting after Monday’s loss to the Trail Blazers. (AP)

After hitting 14 of their first 19 shots and scoring 40 points in the first quarter, the Nets completely fell apart, finishing 3-of-18 from the field in the third quarter before ultimately falling, 108-98.

After the game, Brooklyn’s locker room remained closed for 25 minutes, as the team held a players-only meeting. When the doors finally opened, a majority of the team had left, including former Celtics Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, leaving only Mason PlumeeJason Terry and Shaun Livingston available to answer for the team’s tough defeat.

After acquiring Pierce and Garnett from the Celtics on June 28 and constructing a team with a $100 million payroll, the Nets entered the 2013-14 season as one of the favorites in the Eastern Conference. However, Brooklyn has failed to live up to expectations, as the Nets are last in the Atlantic Division with a 3-7 record and have lost five of their last six games.

Injuries have played a big part of the team’s struggles so far, as Deron WilliamsAndrei Kirilenko and Brook Lopez all missed Monday’s contest, while Garnett and Pierce have missed games as well.

Garnett and Pierce contributed to the Nets’ shooting woes against Portland. Garnett started off strong, scoring 12 points on 6-of-6 shooting in the first quarter, but he cooled off considerably, finishing the game with 16 points on 8-of-19 shooting. Pierce could not get anything going all night, as he scored 11 points on 2-0f-12 shooting.

Pierce and Garnett have struggled this season, as Pierce is on pace to post the lowest scoring average of his career (13.2 points per game) while Garnett only shot 30 percent from the field over the first eight games. Monday’s game was the first time this season that Garnett had scored in double figures.

The Nets’ attempt to turn their season around will not get any easier, as they are set to play five of their next seven games on the road to close out the month. Brooklyn is 1-5 in games outside Brooklyn.

“We’ve got to just get it done, man,” said guard Alan Anderson. “We can’t keep saying it. We just have to do it.”

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Pacers’ Roy Hibbert fined $75K for using gay slur, swearing in news conference 06.03.13 at 9:21 am ET
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The NBA fined Pacers center Roy Hibbert $75,000 Sunday for using a gay slur and cursing during his news conference following Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Hibbert ended a response to a question with the phrase “no homo” before calling reporters an offensive term Saturday. He apologized for his comments in a statement Sunday.

“They were disrespectful and offensive and not a reflection of my personal views,” Hibbert said in an apology. “I used a slang term that is not appropriate in any setting, private or public, and the language I used definitely has no place in a public forum, especially over live television.”

He also tweeted at openly gay NBA player Jason Collins looking to speak with him.

While NBA commissioner David Stern said he had no doubts that Hibbert’s apology was sincere, the fine was needed to prevent these types of comments from being made again.

Hibbert and the Pacers will return to action against the Heat on Monday night in Miami for a series-deciding Game 7.

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Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson announces plan to keep Kings in town 03.01.13 at 9:30 am ET
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Sacramento Mayor (and former NBA player) Kevin Johnson announced his plan to keep the Kings in Sacramento on Thursday. (AP)

Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson announced Thursday that two investors are prepared to buy the Kings and build a new arena for them in Sacramento, and that the bid will be submitted to the NBA on Friday.

Mark Mastrov, the founder of 24 Hour Fitness, is the investor hoping to buy the team and prevent it from moving to Seattle. Ron Burkle, the co-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins, will lead the effort to build a new downtown arena that will increase the Kings’ chances of staying in town, Johnson said.

“With all due respect to Seattle, I do hope they get a team someday, but let me be perfectly clear, it is not going to be this team,” said Johnson, a former NBA All-Star. “Not our team. No way.”

Johnson has rallied local support for the Kings over the last few months, with 20 local investors each committing $1 million. Those investors, including former Kings star Mitch Richmond, aim to buy the 7 percent share of the team that is under control of a federal bankruptcy court.

“He will undoubtedly bring credibility to our efforts,” Johnson said of Richmond.

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Bulls’ Derrick Rose says he has no date set to return this season 02.13.13 at 10:07 am ET
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Bulls guard Derrick Rose said he's not close to being ready to return from his knee injury. (AP)

Bulls point guard Derrick Rose said in an interview with USA Today posted Tuesday that he has no target date for his return to the court, and indicated he might miss the rest of the season.

Rose tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last season in the playoffs against the 76ers and has missed the entire 2012-13 season.

“I don’t have a set date,” Rose told USA Today. “I’m not coming back until I’m 110 percent. Who knows when that can be? It can be within a couple of weeks. It could be next year. It could be any day. It could be any time. It’s just that I’m not coming back until I’m ready.”

Rose said that right now he’s “probably in the high 80s. Far, far away.”

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said there has never been a specific date when Rose was expected back in the game.

“To me, it’s why we’ve taken the approach that we have,” Thibodeau said. There’s no timetable. It’s when he’s ready. We’re not measuring it against someone else’s timetable. It’s just this is Derrick. When he’s ready, he will go.”

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Bulls, Raptors discuss swapping Carlos Boozer for Andrea Bargnani 02.08.13 at 10:31 am ET
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Carlos Boozer

The Bulls and Raptors have discussed a trade that would send Carlos Boozer to Toronto in exchange for Andrea Bargnani, according to an ESPN report that credits sources familiar with the discussions.

There are a few logistical stumbling blocks. The Raptors might have to get into luxury tax territory to take on Boozer’s contract (he makes $15 million this year, $15.3 million next year and $16.8 million the following year).

Bargnani is making $10 million this year, which adds to his appeal over Boozer for Chicago. However, he also has two years left on his contract and has had a disappointing season to date.

The Bulls apparently are hoping Bargnani can help them out in the realm of 3-point shooting, while the Raptors, who were rumored to be trying to trade for the Lakers’ Paul Gasol before he was injured this week, could be aiming to upgrade their front line.

After Toronto traded for Rudy Gay last week, team president Bryan Colangelo said the Raptors would be ready to continue upgrading and take on the luxury tax for the “right transaction.”

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Report: Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has told Dwight Howard he will not be traded 02.06.13 at 2:43 pm ET
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Dwight Howard reportedly has been given an assurance that he will not be traded this season. (AP)

Despite numerous rumors to the contrary, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has told Dwight Howard that he will not be traded before the Feb. 21 deadline, according to league sources.

Sources also told ESPN.com that Howard, who will be a free agent after the end of the season, is unsure of his offseason plans and has no concrete intentions to leave in free agency or request a trade.

According to the ESPN report, the Lakers are “very confident” Howard will remain with the team this summer. They can offer him a longer contract than every other team — five years compared to four — and can offer him about $118 million over that span compared to about $88 million for other teams.

Howard has said that his only concerns at the moment are getting to the playoffs and winning a championship. The Lakers are 23-26 and in 10th place in the Western Conference.

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Lakers’ Pau Gasol to have MRI on right foot at 12:06 pm ET
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Pau Gasol will have an MRI on his right foot Wednesday. (AP)

Pau Gasol will undergo an MRI on his right foot after straining his plantar fascia in Tuesday’s Lakers win over the Nets. He’s scheduled to have the procedure on Wednesday after the Lakers travel to Boston for Thursday’s game against the Celtics.

Gasol left Barclays Center on crutches. He said he tweaked the fascia in the first half and was playing on it for much of the game.

“I was dealing with it, but that play when I tried to jump off of it and try go block the shot [by Brooklyn's Brook Lopez], just as I took off, I felt a pop in the bottom of my foot on my fascia and I couldn’t get up,” Gasol said. “I’m worried about it.”

“I’ve been dealing with it for a couple months now,” he added. “But I never felt anything like I did tonight. Right now it’s a certain level of strain. We just don’t know how bad it is.”

The timetable for Gasol’s return is uncertain and will likely be determined after his MRI. He has missed 13 games this season due to tendinitis in both knees and a concusion.

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Report: Cavaliers considering signing Greg Oden 01.30.13 at 10:28 am ET
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Greg Oden

Former No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden could be aiming for a comeback with the Cavaliers, according to multiple reports.

A person with knowledge of Cleveland’s interest told The Associated Press that the team is looking at signing Oden but is still in the process of evaluating the center’s health. Oden hasn’t played since 2009 and has had three microfracture knee surgeries, two of those on his left knee. The last of those was on Feb. 20 of last year.

The Heat also have been reported, by CBSSports.com, to be considering Oden, who was waived last March by the Trail Blazers — the team that drafted him first overall in 2007.

Oden, 25, said he’ll be back in the game next year.

“I don’t know when, but I’m taking this year off. I’ll play next year,” said Oden, who led Ohio State to the Final Four in his one collegiate season in 2007. He played just 82 games with the Trail Blazers, averaging 9.2 points and 7.3 rebounds.

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Hornets announce name change to Pelicans 01.25.13 at 9:30 am ET
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The Hornets soon will be known as the Pelicans.

The New Orleans Hornets are officially planning to go forward with changing their name to the Pelicans, the team announced Thursday. The NBA would still have to approve the name change, but commissioner David Stern has said he would approve whatever name Hornets owner Tom Benson chose.

The Pelicans name is associated with Louisiana’s state bird, the brown pelican, which was taken off the endangered species list in 2009. Brown pelicans are plentiful along Louisiana’s coast, which has been damaged significantly in recent years by storms, including Hurricane Katrina, and the 2010 BP oil spill.

“The pelican represents New Orleans, just like the Saints,” Benson said. “They have incredible resolve. If they can do that, the team can do the same.”

Rita Benson LeBlanc, Benson’s granddaughter and vice chairman of the board for the Hornets and Saints, was an advocate for the name change.

“We’re raising an entire generation to be very mindful to what happened to our coastal restoration,” Benson LeBlanc said. “Give it time, and I think everyone will be inspired [by the name change]. It’s for a greater purpose.”

The Hornets also released five new logos, changing their color scheme from teal, purple, gold and white to blue, gold and red.

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