Tweet of the Day: Kobe Bryant Among Many NBA Players Reflecting On Season’s End

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Wednesday is the final night in the NBA regular season.

It brings with it a lot of fun and excitement, as all 30 teams are in action. It also features quite of a few games of great import, seeing as there are more than a few teams jockeying for position in the playoffs.

More than anything, for a lot of NBA athletes, it brings a moment of reflection:  An entire year of hard work is coming to a close. For some, the reflection is less inviting:  An entire season has seemingly gone to waste.

Don’t believe me on the latter? Check out Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant’s response to this season.

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Hubbard: Mavericks Quietly off to Surprising Good Start

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Mark_Cuban_2011A little more than a month has passed in the NBA season, but it seems like we’ve already had a full year of distractions, both good and bad. Portland great; Indiana even better. The Knicks and Nets taking turns who’s bad and who’s worse. Kobe close to returning; Rose out for the year. Dwayne Wade hurting; the Atlantic Division hurting even more.

Meanwhile, the last team other than the Miami Heat to win a championship is quietly turning into a solid team, which is interesting for two reasons.

1. How is it that anything Mark Cuban owns is quiet?

2. After winning their first title, the Mavericks took such an unusual approach in trying to win a second.

Evening News: Extension talks stall between Bulls and Deng; Durant open to working with Olajuwon

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In today’s latest NBA news, Chicago and Luol Deng remain distant in negotiations for a contract extension, Kevin Durant tells the media that he would welcome an opportunity to train with Hakeem Olajuwon, and the Mavericks go bargain-hunting on another free agent big man.

Contract negotiations stall between Bulls and Deng

Sam Aggrey of Comcast SportsNet Chicago reports contract talks between the Chicago Bulls and their All Star swingman, Luol Deng, have hit an impasse. luol deng

Deng, who is entering the final year of his contract, figures to be one of the most coveted free agents on next summer’s open market.

While the Bulls would love to bring Deng back, the two-time All Star may price himself out of the Bulls’ comfort zone.

Deng’s representatives recently met with the Bulls’ front office in hopes of striking an extension before the start of the season. After discussions, however, Bulls’ GM Gar Forman informed Deng’s representatives that the team was not prepared to offer the star a longterm contract.

Deng is one of the league’s best two-way players and should command a contract surpassing that of Andre Iguodala’s four year, $48 million deal from Golden State this offseason.

At only 28, Deng is still in the prime of his career. He averaged 16.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and, most impressively, 38.7 minutes per game for Tom Thibodeau last season.

 

Kevin Durant open to working with Hakeem Olajuwon

Yesterday, we covered Hakeem Olajuwon’s desire to privately work with Kevin Durant. Today, NBA blogger Fernando Martin asked Durant what he thought of Olajuwon’s statement. Kevin Durant

As it turns out, the respect between the two superstars is mutual. While Durant is not exactly sure what he could learn from “The Dream,” he has not shut the door on a possible meet up in the future:

“I don’t know,” said Durant. “At this point there’s only one Hakeem Olajuwon. I don’t know how much he can really help me but of course I watched him as a kid and I watch films of him now. I just try to take some stuff out of his game and put it to mine’s, but it’s so hard to try to be like Hakeem Olajuwon. But I’m up for anything. I’m looking forward to learning from anybody, so… We’ll see.”

If the two were to meet up, it would have to be soon. Olajuwon will start working exclusively with the Houston Rockets as a coach at the start of the season.

 

Mavericks extend training camp invitation to Fab Melo

ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that the Dallas Mavericks are close to adding yet another big man to the team’s training camp roster:

Melo, who was the 22nd overall pick by the Boston Celtics in the 2012 NBA Draft, was traded to Memphis in a salary dump last month. He was subsequently released by the Grizzlies just two weeks after they acquired him.

The Mavericks have been trying to add depth to their front line all summer. After failing to land Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum, or Greg Oden earlier in the the summer, the team has gone bargain instead. Melo will join Samuel Dalembert and Dejuan Blair in a refurbished Mavericks’ front court.

Five Things To Watch: Dallas Mavericks

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  • By Tim Cato
  • August 29, 2013 at 9:15 PM

220px-Rick_CarlisleAfter the high of winning the 2011 NBA championship, it didn’t take the Dallas Mavericks long to tumble back down.

Between the much-publicized decision to let most of the championship team go, and the subsequent failure to obtain a top-tier free agent, Dallas is treading water – not quite ready to go under but with no real rescue in sight.

This offseason, the Mavericks rolled the dice and brought in an eclectic combination of players through free agency that left much of the league shaking its heads in confusion. But as the end of Dirk Nowitzki’s career grows visible, it was clear Dallas had to take a chance on some guys and pray that it works.

Here are five key things to watch to see whether or not the Mavericks’ gambling will pay off.

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StatBox Free Agency Breakdown: Bucks, Mavs, Pelicans had most puzzling offseasons

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bjenningsDid your NBA team confuse you this offseason? Were moves made that left you asking questions? Scratching your head? Leaving you angry and befuddled? This column is for many of you. It discusses the three teams with the most puzzling offseasons.

After a lot of thought and consideration, there were three teams that really stood out and left this writer really question their thought processes. The first is easily the Milwaukee Bucks.

After trading an interesting long-term asset in Tobias Harris for two months of J.J. Redick just to make the eighth seed in the East, Bucks general manager John Hammond was expected to choose between unrestricted free agents Redick, Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. He ended up keeping none of these players.

Why? How?

If the Bucks wanted to ditch Redick and concentrate on keeping one of the other two players, it would be understandable. Milwaukee was 11-17 with Redick during the regular season and 27-27 without him.

Redick

Games

Minutes

FG %

3 FG%

PER

WS/48

ORL

50

31.5

45

39

16.1

0.097

MIL

28

28.7

40.3

31.8

11.9

0.078

 

Whatever the reason, Redick was a lot worse with the Bucks and he just never seemed like a good fit with the team. Knowing that Redick wouldn’t return, Milwaukee traded him to the Clippers for a pair of second-round picks, which was fine. What Hammond and the front office did afterward is where it really went sour.

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