Lakers Reportedly Awarded $4.85 Million Disabled Player Exception for Steve Nash

The Los Angeles Lakers lost veteran Steve Nash for the season due to a back injury, but they are reportedly set to receive some compensation due to the disabled player exception.    

Brian Windhorst of ESPN initially passed along the news:

Nash has played in just 65 games over the last two seasons with the Lakers. The former Phoenix Suns star holds averages of 11.4 points and 6.4 assists per game during that span.

Back in October, the Lakers made the news of his injury official along with quotes from Nash and general manager Mitch Kupchak:

The Lakers have been ravaged by injuries this season, including the recent loss of Xavier Henry for the season due to a ruptured Achilles, per ESPN.com’s Baxter Holmes, as well as the loss of promising rookie Julius Randle to a broken leg. Receiving the return on Nash should help lessen some of the blow from another down season.

Jeremy Lin (12.1 PPG, 4.9 APG) has stepped up in place of Nash, but the team is still 3-11 entering Tuesday night and well outside of the playoff chase. Getting value back for Nash’s injury allows the team a chance to help bolster the roster in the future.

 

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Doctor reportedly determined Dwight Howard abused son with belt

Dwight Howard was recently investigated for child abuse after Royce Reed, the mother of one of Howard’s children, accused him of whipping their 6-year-old son Braylon with a belt. TMZ reported on Sunday that Howard has been cleared by the Florida Dept. of Children and Families, but it sounds like whether he did something wrong…Read More

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PJ Hairston Assault Charges Reportedly Dropped at Alleged Victim’s Request

The assault charges brought against Charlotte Hornets guard P.J. Hairston have reportedly been dropped at the request of the alleged victim.   

Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer revealed the news Thursday:

Hairston’s charges were from an alleged altercation at the Durham YMCA back in July. District Attorney Roger Echols noted that Kentrell Barkley requested the charges to be dropped, per The Durham Herald-Sun‘s news report.

The rookie shooting guard has played well this season, averaging 5.0 points and 1.8 rebounds in just 13.2 minutes per game. Those numbers are good enough for per-36 averages of 13.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game (h/t Basketball-Reference.com).

Hornets coach Steve Clifford recently spoke about his importance to the offense, per Bonnell.

“All I know is when he’s out there, it opens up for everyone else,” Clifford said. “It opens up because they’re so scared of him taking a shot.”

Meanwhile, Barkley has moved on from the skirmish. The Northern Durham player recently signed with ECU, per Bret Strelow of The Fayetteville Observer:

Hairston can now focus solely on basketball moving forward. The first-round pick for Charlotte in the 2014 NBA draft will need to play well to get the team back on track in the Eastern Conference.

Traveling to take on the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors on Friday and Saturday, respectively, the Hornets will need Hairston to be at the top of his game to win both contests.

 

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Markus Kennedy Reportedly Ineligible for SMU’s 1st Semester

Once viewed as a potential Top 10 team, SMU continues to plummet down the 2014-15 college basketball ranks.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, Larry Brown will be without star forward Markus Kennedy for the first chunk of the season due to eligibility problems:

This is the second game-changing hit to the Mustangs roster this offseason. In July, top recruit Emmanuel Mudiay elected to forgo college and head to China to play professionally.

Before that, SMU, which lost in the NIT final last season and returned a large portion of its roster, looked like a team capable of making a deep run in March. Now, the Mustangs are reeling.

Fortunately, Kennedy should be back in time for conference play. Per SMU’s website, the fall term officially ends Dec. 20, which means he would be back in time for one game before the AAC opener against South Florida.

Unfortunately, the nonconference schedule includes trips to Gonzaga (Nov. 17), Indiana (Nov. 20) and Michigan (Dec. 20), as well as a home test against Arkansas (Nov. 25).

Without Kennedy, those games become much more difficult. The Villanova transfer averaged 12.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocks in just 25.0 minutes per game last year. An active 6’9″ force on both ends of the court, he was expected to be one of the best big men in America this year.

As College Basketball Talk’s Rob Dauster noted, it’s tough to overstate this loss:

For as long as Kennedy is sidelined, Nic Moore will continue to shoulder the scoring load, while Cannen Cunningham and Ben Moore will pick up many of his minutes in the frontcourt.

The silver lining here is that Brown often went 10-deep last year, and this once-young roster features a lot of experience. If the Mustangs can just tread water, they may get Kennedy back in time to hit their full potential for the important stretch run.

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LeBron, Kyrie Irving reportedly had ‘healthy’ exchange after loss

Strap in, folks because this ride is seemingly about to get bumpy. Although you can always say that when a team isn’t winning. The Cleveland Cavaliers had an impressive win over the Chicago Bulls, but they’re definitely not winning—and last night’s gut-punch loss on the last shot of the game to the Utah Jazz won’t help matters. Now, ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst is reporting through sources that LeBron James and Kyrie Irving had a “healthy exchange” in the locker room after the loss to the Portland Trailblazers.

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving exchanged words in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ locker room following the team’s 19-point loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night, and it led to Irving leaving quickly without speaking to the media, multiple sources told ESPN.com.
The Cavs had assists on only six of their 30 field goals Wednesday, the lowest assist percentage (20 percent) by a LeBron James team in his career. The discussion was seen as healthy, sources said, with the veteran

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LeBron James, Kyrie Irving reportedly exchange words, deemed ‘healthy’ by sources

Multiple sources have told ESPN that LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, two-thirds of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ new triumvirate of top dogs, exchanged words in the locker room following the team’s 101-82 blowout loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night. The discussion was described as “healthy” by the sources, although it possibly prompted Irving…Read More
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LeBron James, Kyrie Irving Reportedly Exchanged Words Following Loss to Blazers

LeBron James‘ Cleveland homecoming has gotten off to a surprisingly rocky start, and failure to mesh with incumbent star Kyrie Irving may be a big reason.    

The Portland Trail Blazers crushed the Cavaliers 101-82 on Tuesday night. Following that disappointing loss, James and Irving reportedly exchanged words in the locker room about the direction and flow of the offense, according to ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst.

While Windhorst categorized the discussion as “healthy,” James was clearly unhappy after the game based on his comments to the media.

“There’s a lot of bad habits, a lot of bad habits been built up the past couple years,” LeBron said. “When you play that style of basketball, it takes a lot to get it up out of you.”

It is entirely possible that James was alluding to Irving’s dominance of the ball. As the go-to player for the first three seasons of his NBA career, the Duke product grew accustomed to the offense going through him.

Per ESPN’s Skip Bayless, shooting a high volume of shots is basically in Irving’s DNA:

Also, despite LeBron’s presence, Windhorst believes Irving is reluctant to adapt, according to ESPN’s First Take:

The Cavs are currently 1-3, which is shocking for a team that boasts elite talent such as James, Irving and Kevin Love. Cleveland was tabbed as the preseason favorite to win the Eastern Conference, but that may have been presumptuous.

A 102-100 loss to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday couldn’t have done much to improve the locker room mood, but there are still many games left to be played. James took to Twitter to calm down a panicky fanbase: 

The expectation that James, Irving and Love would be able to mesh immediately was probably unrealistic. All three of them will have to sacrifice something in order to have team success moving forward, and LeBron is clearly hopeful that his point guard will embrace that.

 

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Ex-NFL Player Domonique Foxworth Reportedly Set to Be Named COO of NBPA

Former NFL cornerback and NFL Players Association president Domonique Foxworth is set to cross the sports spectrum to become the chief operating officer of the National Basketball Players Association.   

Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg News broke the news Wednesday while also noting Walter Palmer, who circled the globe playing basketball, would also be joining the group:

Foxworth played with the Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens across a career that lasted six seasons. He hasn’t suited up since 2011 but remained the head of the NFLPA until Eric Winston took over earlier this year.

He was previously considered to become executive director of the NBPA before Michele Roberts was chosen for the position. The Maryland product, who’s continued his education at the Harvard School of Business, explained to Cindy Boren of The Washington Post the importance of union leadership.

“Having been a long-time leader in the NFLPA and involved in this extended NBPA search process, I understand well the potential opportunities and pitfalls inherent in running a professional sports union,” Foxworth said. “And I know how important it is to have the right leaders guiding the organization.”

His stance is backed up by Winston, who sent along a message of support and noted the NBA players are in good hands:

Foxworth’s experience both as a former athlete and the leader of a players union should be a valuable resource in the years ahead. Both sides can opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement following the 2016-17 season, as noted by Larry Coon in a special report to ESPN.com.

Having somebody who’s been in rooms with owners of professional sports teams before, the NBA players who won’t be present will know they have a strong voice speaking on their behalf. That said, it’s still unknown whether the players or owners will decide to opt out and renegotiate.

Foxworth figures to play a key role in that decision-making process.

 

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NBA Draft Lottery Reform Proposal Reportedly Voted Down, Format to Stay the Same

Changing the NBA draft lottery may ultimately be inevitable, but the league has reportedly decided against reform for the 2014-15 season.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the Board of Governors voted down the proposal to change the lottery at its meeting Wednesday:

Grantland’s Zach Lowe initially reported in July that the NBA would look into lottery reform to prevent teams from tanking to get better draft picks.

Lowe also tweeted about some of the tweaks included in the proposal that came before the Board of Governors:

Per Wojnarowski, one owner revealed that the league would continue to explore potential lottery changes even though this particular proposal was rejected:

While many seemed open to changing the lottery, ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst reported in July that the Philadelphia 76ers were vehemently against any alterations.

Even so, the vote was still expected to pass with Lowe even suggesting the the Sixers would be the only opponent:

As it turns out, many of the league’s owners weren’t yet ready to make such a sweeping change. With that said, others were very much looking forward to a new system, as evidenced by this tweet courtesy of Wojnarowski (language NSFW):

There is no question that the current lottery system is better for lowly, struggling teams since the organizations with the worst records have a significantly better shot at top picks.

Despite that, Wojnarowski reports that the voting didn’t necessarily jibe with public perception about which franchises would support a new system:

Lottery reform will continue to be a hot-button issue moving forward. Although those who voted against the new proposal likely have different reasons, the fact that the league tried to push changes through so quickly may have been a major sticking point.

Perhaps organizations will be more supportive of a subsequent proposal with more time to consider its implications, but there is no question that lottery reform talk is far from over.

 

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NBA Reportedly Warns Heat and Cavaliers Not to Do ’3-Goggles’ in Brazil

Breaking out the “three-goggles” gesture is popular among basketball players in the United States, but the NBA reportedly wants the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers to refrain from doing the celebration during an exhibition in Brazil this weekend.

The Heat and the Cavaliers will meet in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday. Given that the teams will be playing outside of the United States, the players will need to adjust to a different culture.

According to Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group, the NBA has warned Miami and Cleveland not to do the “three-goggles” during their preseason meeting in Brazil:

Holding up the “three-sign” or the “three-goggles” in a certain way while in Brazil could be mistaken for “f— you” or “f— off,” I was informed.

The NBA sent the Cavs and Heat a memo with a list of questionable gestures that shouldn’t be used in Brazil, we’re told. The last thing anybody wants is for the stands to clear immediately after a player nails a 3-pointer.

To fans in the United States, it’s just a silly celebration. However, in Brazil, it could be considered an offensive gesture.

The memo the NBA reportedly sent out to both teams warns the players to be careful with what they do during the exhibition. The players can break out the “three-goggles” as much as they want during the regular season, but for at least one exhibition game, they will have to find another way to celebrate three-pointers.

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