SH Blog: Carlesimo says he’s the best coach for Nets, Rivers defends Garnett

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  • Rudy Gay opened up about how trade rumors affect his family, from Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports: “Whether it’s close friend Rajon Rondo, Jarrett Jack, or other basketball colleagues, Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay has been leaning on his circle of NBA friends to get him through recent trade speculation. While Rondo, according to Gay, is giving sound advice, the Boston Celtics guard can’t help being a little selfish. “It’s hard to talk to [Rondo] because he is always saying, ‘We need you over here. We need you over here,’ ” Gay said. “So it’s not easy talking to him. But he’s being a friend, just telling me about keeping everything together and he makes you feel like you are still valuable.”… “I’m more than just a basketball player and wherever I am, or will be, or wherever I go, they are going to realize I’m more than just a basketball player,” Gay said. “I can give just as much as I did here, if not more.” Gay said the biggest strain has been how the rumors have affected his family. “People don’t understand that we do have families, we do have personal situations we have to deal with while trying to be productive on the court,” Gay said. “Your family is calling saying, ‘What is going on? What is going on?’ I just tell them, ‘Don’t worry about it.”
  • Pau Gasol is still not ready to play due to a concussion he suffered against the Nuggets, from Eric Pincus of Los Angeles Times: “According to Lakers.com, Pau Gasol has not been cleared to return from a concussion he sustained Sunday night against the Denver Nuggets. Gasol will be reevaluated Friday morning before the Lakers host the Oklahoma City Thunder.  The forward/center has already missed 10 games this season, eight with knee tendinitis. The league has a stringent concussion policy and while Gasol has shown improvement, “he is still not cleared to play basketball,” according to the website. Gasol was examined by Dr. Vern Williams. Additionally, Dwight Howard is scheduled to be reevaluated next week and will miss Friday night’s game against the Thunder with a shoulder injury. The Lakers are also without Jordan Hill, their top reserve big man, who is out with a “small tear to the labrum of his left hip” and will be looked at again next week..”
  • Rajon Rondo explained why he shouldn’t have been suspended, from Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe: “The league thought it was a big deal,” Rondo said. “I don’t feel there was a need to have an investigation. I know Rodney, and that particular time with that play, I actually went up to him and I made a joke, he laughed, and in the midst, I did touch him, and the league, I guess, reviewed it. The media blew it up, on ‘SportsCenter’ or whatever, and I served a one-game suspension. “I thought Josh had flopped. I told Rodney, ‘His body size and what he weighs [Smith is listed at 225 pounds], and look at me. There’s no way I could have made him go into the stands off of contact.’ He laughed, threw the ball in, and we got back on defense.” Asked if past misdeeds are a factor with his reputation, Rondo said, “You’re smart. You know the answer to that. You seen what happened on the play.”… “I feel like I’m a criminal; I go to court a lot,” he said. “They say what happened during the investigation. I’m not on trial or anything. That’s how it is when you’re dealing with the league and when you get into a little bit of trouble. I’m a repeat offender. I don’t know if I have two or three strikes, but it is what it is.” He acknowledged he may need to adjust his approach with officials and the manner in which he disputes calls.”
  • Rondo also gave away why he believes he was really suspended, from Andrew Perna of RealGM: “In discussing the situation again, Rondo revealed that the punishment came as a result of the league’s investigation. A few moments later, he was asked by a reporter what he thought about the one-game suspension Carmelo Anthony received for a post-game confrontation with Kevin Garnett. That’s when Rondo, in passing, seemed to indicate that he was suspended because he hung up on a league official. “Man, I get suspended for a phone hang up and people get away with anything,” Rondo said in reference to his own actions and those of Anthony, who attempted to confront Garnett by Boston’s bus on Monday night. Without directly admitting it, Rondo clarified exactly why the NBA suspended him for the Knicks’ game. He likely received a call from Stu Jackson and didn’t like how the conversation was going, opting to hang up the phone rather than continue the conversation. There’s your “failure to cooperation with a league investigation.”
  • Whether it’s before the end of this season or after it, Greg Oden hopes to make his return to the NBA, according to Warriors sideline reporter Ric Bucher: “Someone asked in my Comcast/NBC chat yesterday about Greg Oden and whether he’d ever play again. I’m told by Mike Conley, his college teammate at Ohio State, that Greg is back in Columbus, taking classes and trying to get into playing shape and that he hopes to be available to hit the free-agent market and join a team before the end of this season. If he can’t get his body right by then or there isn’t sufficient interest, he intends to take another shot at it next fall. The takeaway: Oden hasn’t given up on resuming his — or, perhaps more accurately, having a — NBA career.”
  • When Oden is ready to return, Miami Heat will be the first team in line for his services, according to Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein of ESPN: “The Miami Heat are at the front of the line in pursuing Oden, two sources said, and have been keeping tabs as he recovers while also taking classes at Ohio State. The Heat potentially could have two roster spots available this season, one of which Oden, formerly of the Portland Trail Blazers, could slide into as he continues to rehab. Team president Pat Riley is known to like gambling on long shots, especially when it comes to big men. One concern for the Heat, though, is they already are committed to more than $80 million in salaries for next season and likely will have a final payroll coming close to $90 million in a year when the new, more harsh luxury tax kicks in. Oden potentially would be a costly gamble even on a minimum-level contract. The Heat are also currently about $14 million over the luxury-tax line for this season.”

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