• Westbrook on KD Standing Up For Him: ‘It Was Very Important’

    Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook never got the chance to respond to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban saying he was an "All-Star but not a superstar," as forward Kevin Durant jumped in to call Cuban an "idiot" before Westbrook could answer the question. On Wednesday, following the team's practice, Westbrook was asked what it meant for Durant to jump in and defend him like that.

    "It was very important [to me]," Westbrook said. "Me and Kevin's relationship is great. He's like my brother. We talk about different things, not just basketball-related. He's always gonna have my back and I'll always have his."

    Source: Royce Young of ESPN
  • Kyrie Irving on Curry, CP3 Injuries: ‘It Absolutely Sucks’

    After grinding through an 82-game regular season, Curry and Paul saw their playoff plans detoured within the first two weeks of postseason play. For Irving, seeing the pair whom share his position on the court now share his strife, it has been difficult.

    “I'm watching TV and I'm seeing CP come out and you could tell he's really frustrated and Steph goes down on a freakish play that could have happened to anyone but he's already coming back from the ankle sprain and he comes out and sprains his MCL and that's just ... it just sucks, it absolutely sucks,” Irving said after practice Wednesday.

    Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN
  • Scott Brooks Introduced; Doesn’t Answer Durant Question

    Newly hired Wizards coach Scott Brooks was surprised it took so long to hear the question. Almost 15 minutes into his introductory news conference, he was asked, "Let's get this out of the way: Are you going to bring Kevin Durant here?" Brooks was prepared. His preexisting relationship with Durant during their time together with the Oklahoma City Thunder generated plenty of questions about the Washington-area native returning home as a free agent, but Brooks didn't take the bait.

    "I'm excited about the team, guys," Brooks said with a smile. "We have a great group of guys. I understand the question. But I'm excited about the group of guys we have here. When this season ended, when I was looking around, I knew that this is the place I wanted to be."

    Source: The Associated Press
  • Bosh Shows Desire to Return, Miami Has Other Ideas

    Chris Bosh and his wife appeared to break weeks of silence about his status with the Miami Heat with social media posts Tuesday that reaffirmed his desire to return to the court. But the Heat restated their position that there are no plans for him to play.

    Bosh's wife, Adrienne, who is active on social media and in the Miami community, started a #BringBoshBack hashtag on Twitter on Tuesday and retweeted several members of the media discussing how the Heat miss Bosh in their series with the Charlotte Hornets. Bosh himself later posted a video on social media of him shooting in an empty AmericanAirlines Arena with the message "Still got it."

    Source: Brian Windhorst of ESPN

  • D-Wade to Reference Game 6 in 2012 Against Boston to Heat

    The Heat are scheduled to practice at 1 p.m. on Thursday and then fly to Charlotte two hours later. Somewhere along the way, once he blows off the steam from Wednesday’s 90-88 loss to the Hornets that dropped Miami into a 3-2 series hole, Wade will mention Game 6 to his teammates.

    Not the Game 6 the Heat will play Friday in Charlotte with their season on the line, but rather Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference finals. That’s when Miami trailed 3-2 after losing Game 5 at home to the Celtics and had to go to Boston in need of a victory to salvage its season.

    Source: Michael Wallace of ESPN
  • Doc Rivers Gets Choked Up Before Game VS Blazers

    Clippers coach Doc Rivers' eyes welled and he became choked up before his team played the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 5 of their first-round series. During his pregame availability Wednesday night, Rivers was asked whom he leans on to get through after losing injured stars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul.

    Rivers responded, "I don't know," and his dark eyes filled with tears. He paused and put his hand to his face. He told the media that his emotional reaction wasn't in response to the reporter's question. The 54-year-old coach mentioned his late mother, Bettye Rivers, saying, "That would have been a person."

    Source: The Associated Press
  • Lakers Granted Permission to Interview Luke Walton

    The Golden State Warriors have granted permission to the Los Angeles Lakers to interview Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton for their coaching vacancy.

    Steve Kerr, who was named the NBA Coach of the Year on Tuesday, revealed before Wednesday night's series-clinching Game 5 win over the Houston Rockets that the Lakers will be able to meet with Walton as soon as a break in the Warriors' schedule arises.

    Source: Marc Stein of ESPN
  • Without Steph, Warriors Close Out Rockets

    This was not a competitive game, which says something about the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets, their desultory foe. From the beginning of the Warriors' series-clinching 114-81 win in Wednesday's Game 5, James Harden was efficient, but he was one of the weak links on a defense that totally collapsed. The end came quickly for the Rockets.

    On offense, Houston was a one-man team, wholly dependent on Harden. "Don't get me wrong, he was great," Draymond Green said after the game. "[Harden] was scoring the basketball every way. He hit some tough shots, 2s and 3s. But when you dominate the ball like that, that's one thing Coach Kerr's really trying to teach us -- move the ball, because it just creates rhythm."

    Source: Ethan Sherwood Strauss of ESPN
  • Kings Want to Meet With Luke Walton After First Round

    Whether or not (Luke) Walton wanted the attention, a 39-4 record and a Coach of the Month honor (October/November) draw interest from teams such as the Kings, who desperately need a coach who can change the franchise’s culture. But Walton, 36, isn’t using the playoffs to begin a campaign to coach the Kings or the Los Angeles Lakers, with whom Walton won two NBA championships as a player.

    The Kings want to meet with Walton, probably after the conclusion of Golden State’s first-round series against the Houston Rockets.

    Source: Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee
  • Mavs’ Dirk Nowitzki: ‘I definitely won’t retire’

    Dirk Nowitzki is not done yet.

    The 37-year-old left no doubt about that during his exit interviews the day after the Dallas Mavericks' season ended.

    "I definitely won't retire," Nowitzki said Tuesday. "That's out of the question. I felt great this year. I feel like I can still play efficient enough to be there for the team. No, retirement is no question at all."

    Source: Tim MacMahon of ESPN
  • Lakers Will Take Serious Look at Ettore Messina?

    NBA coaching scuttle: Hearing Ettore Messina will get a very legit look from the Lakers if they can't lure Luke Walton out of Golden State.

  • Report: Phil Jackson Meets With Kurt Rambis’ Agents

    Knicks president Phil Jackson met with Kurt Rambis’ Chicago-based agents Tuesday night in New York. That may well be a sign things are progressing toward Rambis being announced soon as the Knicks head coach.

    Source: Marc Berman of the New York Post
  • Isaiah Thomas: I’m Playing in Game 6 ‘no matter what’

    Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas suffered a mild left ankle sprain during the fourth quarter of Tuesday night's 110-83 Game 5 loss to the Atlanta Hawks but was adamant he will play in Thursday's Game 6.

    "I'm great," Thomas said. "Ready for Game 6. I'm playing no matter what. I'm not going to sit out.

    Source: Chris Forsberg of ESPN
  • Thibodeau: Role About ‘alignment’; ‘It’s not about power’

    Tom Thibodeau came to Minnesota for the impressive young core of talent assembled.

    "For me personally, this is about alignment," Thibodeau said on Tuesday in a press conference that introduced him as the new Timberwolves president of basketball operations and coach. "It's not about power.

    Source: The Associated Press
  • Duncan Says Kawhi Leonard Not Treated as Star Player

    (Kawhi) Leonard, by any measure, is a bona fide star. (Tim) Duncan says it is time for the 24-year-old to be treated as one.

    “He’s gotten to the point now where people are being a lot more physical with him, but people are still being allowed to get away with a whole lot of stuff,” Duncan said. “That gets him fired up, and rightfully so.”

    It’s part of learning the game and part of gaining other people’s respect and the league’s respect,” Duncan said.

    Source: Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News