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David Aldridge

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If Allen Iverson wants to continue his career, a return to Philadelphia may be his last hope.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Philly or bust: Iverson's options limited as support wanes


Posted Nov 30 2009 4:35PM

Crazy week, huh? We'll get to a lot of it, including Gilbert Arenas, the resurrection of Jamaal Tinsley in Memphis and the end for Lawrence Frank in Jersey. But you have to start with Allen Iverson and the potential for a reunion in Philadelphia.

The possibility is there. Iverson, his agent, Leon Rose, and his personal manager Gary Moore met with met with Philly general manager Ed Stenfanski, assistant GM Tony DiLeo, coach Eddie Jordan and assistant coach Aaron McKie for two hours in Dallas on Monday. Nothing was settled. But it's not a stretch to say things are getting closer.

Iverson better hope so, because if he doesn't get a deal done there, I can't find another place for him to land.

No one believes that Iverson is going to stay retired, despite his announcement last week. First, everybody thinks he can still play -- "he can't go out like that," the Knicks' Al Harrington said last week. Second, there's too much of the season left to play; someone of significance will be injured in someone's backcourt, and Iverson is clearly the best free-agent guard out there. By a mile.

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So over the Thanksgiving holiday, I got in touch with 25 of the 26 teams that haven't had or haven't seriously considered having Iverson on their team in the last three years (omitting, obviously, the four teams that have: Detroit, Denver, Memphis and the Knicks) to try and gauge the league-wide interest in the 34-year-old future Hall of Famer. That included the 76ers, but now that they're considering him, let's scratch them from the list. That leaves 24 teams, all of which were promised anonymity in exchange for frankness. I had two questions:

1) Is there a scenario -- injury, suspension or other long-term loss, interest from either your head coach and/or owner -- under which you'd sign or consider signing Iverson as a starter;

2) Would you sign him if he agreed beforehand to accept any role that you laid out for him (i.e., he agreed to come off the bench without complaint)?

Of the 24 teams, I heard back from 20 of them as of early Monday morning. One team declined to answer. Here's the scoreboard:

On question 1, 16 teams said no. One team said it couldn't answer because there was so much to consider. One team said it might consider it -- but only if two of its top six players got injured. One team said, under those conditions, it could.

On question 2, 16 teams said no. One team said doubtful. One team said if all its parties met and agreed, it might go forward. One team said, if the scenario was right, it would consider it.

That's it. That's all the support for a 10-time All-Star, former league MVP and career scorer of 24,020 points. One or two maybes, and two fistfuls of no ways. Vehement no ways. Now you see why it was so cold for Iverson over the summer, when he couldn't find a team that wanted him until Memphis offered him that one-year deal.

The reasons for passing on Iverson fell into three categories: teams that have young players and felt Iverson's influence on them would be harmful; teams that had the maximum 15 contracts on their books and couldn't add another, and teams that simply do not believe that Iverson would accept anything other than huge minutes and shots, even if he said he would do so.

"He may agree," one executive texted, "but not sure at the end of the day he would accept such (a) role!"

"I cannot think of a scenario where we would sign AI," texted another.

And a third: "High risk with our young players. He needs to go to a mature contender."

And a fourth: "Young players. Need to know if they can play, not watch AI."

One team was sympathetic: "Probably not, but I'm not sure, and I don't want to kick the guy when he's down."

As far as the Sixers and Iverson go, as I said after the story broke, the only voice that matters here is 76ers chairman Ed Snider, who has carte blanche from Comcast, which runs the team. Senior management has given the basketball side of the organization the go-ahead to sign Iverson, if the basketball people so choose. That's a big step for Snider, who soured on Iverson over the years.

Comcast has other things on its mind at the moment, like buying NBC; the Sixers and Flyers are tiny line items on Comcast's billion-dollar ledger, and the corporate giant is usually hands-off, though it wants to be in the loop, obviously. Comcast doesn't like the fact the Sixers are next to last in the league in attendance, at just fewer than 12,000 per game -- but that alone, I'm told, won't be a determinant in the team's decision-making. The only time the parent company makes its opinion known is when it's publicly embarassed, like when Iverson and Chris Webber missed those fan appreciation events a couple of years ago. (Former general manager Billy King, normally unflappable in public, was cussing like a sailor to reporters that night.)

By the way, if we're going to give credit for who first came up with the idea of the 76ers-Ive reunion, then congratulate noted player personnel director Amar'e Stoudemire. Thoughts? -- the Sixers lost PG Lou Williams for 8 weeks -- the arena is half-empty--the team needs scoring & an overall boost -- bring back AI?, the Suns' center Tweeted on Thanksgiving Day.

Dribbles

It hardly came as a surprise that the Nets put Lawrence Frank out of his misery Sunday afternoon, firing him, in part, so he wouldn't have to have the record for consecutive losses to start the season permanently attached to him. It was inevitable, given the way the team was playing, as well as its record, that Frank was going to go. The question now is whether team president Rod Thorn will ask GM Kiki Vandeweghe to take over after assistant coach Tom Barrise coached Sunday night's game against the Lakers. I'm told Thorn and Vandeweghe will speak Monday morning, and that while Barrise could be considered for the permanent job, it's a longshot.

The Nets played hard most nights, but they made too many mistakes at too many critical junctures to be considered well-coached under Frank, the injuries nothwithstanding.

Vandeweghe, I'm told, is torn about taking the job. He's never been a head coach before and would want some kind of assurance that if he finishes the season on the bench that he'd get to go back to the general manager's job afterward -- a perk that was not afforded to New Orleans' Jeff Bower or former Wolves coach Kevin McHale when they were ordered to the bench by senior management.

If he is asked to take the job, Vandeweghe would, I'm told, bring in a veteran assistant coach to help him through the first couple of months. He would be most interested in making sure the Nets' youngest players, including rookie guard Terrence Williams, get significant playing time the rest of the season. While Frank was hamstrung by injuries that limited him to eight players on the bench more than once, getting the kids on the floor early and often was a minor issue. That wasn't why he had to go, though. You can't argue at 0-16; you just can't ...

• The Wizards have a problem. Gilbert Arenas has a problem.

Who does he have to be for the team to be successful?

Should he go back to being Agent Zero, forcing the action every time down the floor, taking 30 shots a game? Should he try to be a classic pass-first point guard in new coach Flip Saunders' system, making sure everyone else gets going? Is it something in the middle? Should he be Surly Gil, like he was in the preseason and the early regular season, doing little more than mumbling to the media and being uber-serious? Or should he crack jokes and be his normal crazy self?

I don't think he knows. And if you want to know why the Wizards are struggling so badly a month in, despite having talent half of the league would love to roll out every night, that's why. But it's good, at least, to see Arenas laughing again.

"I just wanted to play, man," he said Tuesday, the day the Wizards announced the death of their owner, Abe Pollin. "Soon as I start talking, I've got beef. I just wanted to stay away from that this year, just get in, just be a regular player, stay away from the hype machine. I'm more funny than anything. Most of the locker room is goofers. When we're rolling, we're goofy. It's so funny. When we're being serious, everybody's serious, nobody likes each other. 'Man, I don't like you right now. You're too serious.'"


Gilbert Arenas and the Wizards are still trying to figure out how they mesh best.
David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

The Wizards had just squeaked by Philly. Arenas, frankly, was terrible down the stretch, looking unsure, committing turnovers. During Washington's best two wins of the season -- at home against Cleveland, on the road Friday at Miami -- Arenas sat on the bench in the fourth quarter while Earl Boykins, just in from Italy, ran the show.

Arenas desperately wants to lead this team, after missing most of the last two years following three knee operations. I think he expects to lead this team. But the team isn't sure it wants or needs him to lead, unless he's so good on the court it has no choice. And he hasn't been. But he's trying to figure it out. For about 20 minutes after the game, Arenas, the Washington Post's star columnist, Mike Wilbon, and I chatted. It really was talking more than interviewing, kind of stream of consciousness about basketball and where he fits.

I asked him if trying to exert leadership with so many new variables this season was difficult.

"You know what's so funny?," he said. "And Sammy (assistant coach Sam Cassell) said it to me, when we was losing games, and they're looking for me to go out and just yell at everybody. And Sammy said, 'Gil, when are you gonna get to yell?' I said 'I don't yell. I don't say anything.' He was like, '(Bleep). 'Cause if this was me, I'd be cussing everybody out in this (bleep). That's me.' I was like, 'Well, you can do it for me, 'cause I just don't yell. I don't know. I don't know. Just through high school, through college, I just never yelled. I figure, you're a grown-ass man, (or) you're a kid, too. You work hard just like me. I can't yell at you for something. If we're on the court, I get mad for the moment, but I'm not going to be slapping my players around. I'm not that big."

Arenas reached out to Chauncey Billups, who thrived under Saunders in Minnesota and Detroit and swears by him (and vice versa).

"He said, 'Man, you can average 32 in this system,'" Arenas said. "'Because it's made for a point guard who (does) pick-and-roll. He said, 'You're going to average 32 and eight assists because you have the ball so much.'"

But Arenas is averaging just 20 per game, with 6.3 assists -- and 3.9 turnovers -- and is shooting just 39 percent from the floor. (In fairness, Arenas has never been a great percentage shooter -- his career best is 44.7 percent from the floor.) Arenas is studying Boykins, whom he played with in Golden State his rookie season, to find the nuances in halfcourt pick-and-roll offense, which is central in Saunders' system and not what Arenas was used to playing the Princeton offense with Eddie Jordan.

He is not the only one struggling to adjust. Caron Butler is shooting as poorly as he has in six seasons; his uncertainty is clear as well. Arenas said so last week, causing a kerfluffle locally.

"In this system, everything is so, boom-boom-boom-boom-boom, that he gets caught trying to get his stuff off, and everybody's sitting there watching," Arenas said. "That's why I keep telling him, 'Just shoot it. I don't give a (bleep) if you've gotta shoot it 20 times. I just need you to shoot the ball. The more you shoot, the better it is.' Two people are not going to be open on the same possession. So if you pump-fake it, you've got to just shoot it or go. Shoot it or go. Just do one of the two. Like Nick (Young), I said, 'Nick, I need you to score. Don't worry about anything -- score. Don't worry about passing the ball to nobody, just score. You're going to help Antawn out and you're going to help me out if you just do your job. Just do your job.'"

The Wizards will get it going when Arenas figures out how best to do his job ...

• After his team arrived in Portland on Thursday, Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins saw a promising sight.

"Tinsley, DeMarre Carroll and Rudy (Gay) going to dinner together," Hollins said Saturday night. "The guys are starting to open up to each other, and everybody else (on the team) matters."

In such subtle ways, a veteran presence can help a team grow. At least so far, Jamaal Tinsley has provided that for Memphis, after spending the last year and a half in basketball purgatory, told by the Indiana Pacers to stay away from their team after a series of incidents and injuries. But since signing with Memphis Nov. 14, Tinsley has helped solidify an unstable situation for the Grizzlies, who were reeling at the time in the midst of Iverson's soap opera.

In his first five games, Tinsley has averaged just 7.8 points and 2.8 assists in 18.3 minutes. But since he's signed with Memphis, the Grizzlies are 4-3, including Friday night's big 106-96 road win over the Blazers in which Memphis went on an incredible 31-2 run in the first half. With Tinsley on the floor, the team's young players have been more relaxed and started playing, instead of looking to the sideline for direction, and he's gotten some easy looks for rookie center Hasheem Thabeet. They're not making a playoff run, but they're playing better.

"He's just what the doctor ordered," Hollins said. "We needed a veteran to lead and direct, who knew how to play ... he's a director. He sees things. He's telling them what he sees. He tells them, 'On this play, do this and I'll get you the ball.' (Friday) night they were pressing us and he would give up the ball and get it back and slow us down."

The Grizzlies had had their eye on Tinsley for a while. Assistant coach Damon Stoudemire reported that Tinsley had been working out in Houston during the summer and looked good. Hollins saw him in Los Angeles. Everyone in the organization swears that the Grizzlies wanted Tinsley regardless of how things worked out with Iverson -- who ultimately was released by the team after playing just three games -- and that they'd hoped to eventually play the two of them together.

"It was all independent of Allen," Hollins said. "They're different. Their stories are totally different. I don't even want to go with that other story. I'm done with that one."

It seems inevitable that Tinsley will supplant Mike Conley as the starter, even though Hollins likes Tinsley now with the second unit. He played more minutes than Conley for the first time on Friday, and he's working his way to starter's minutes as he works himself into game shape ("not L.A. Fitness shape," Hollins said). Hollins was a fan of Conley's last year, but he was blunt with Conley when the team brought in Tinsley.

"I told him as long as he's in this league there's always going to be competition and the team is always going to try and better itself," Hollins said. "You have to produce or you get thrown by the wayside"...

• Atlanta is 12-5 and is, again, on an upward trajectory under coach Mike Woodson, who has gone from 13 wins his first season, 2004, to 46 wins last season, including the team's first playoff series win in a decade. Yet the Hawks have not even made a single contract offer, not even a perfunctory one, to Woodson, whose two-year extension signed in 2008 is up after this season. And I'm not sure that Woodson would even accept a new deal from Atlanta now even if the Hawks come to their senses.

When Woodson was hired fresh off of Larry Brown's championship staff in Detroit in 2004, he made a deal with Atlanta's brass: Give me a four-year contract. If I can't turn this around by then, fire me. He held up his end, turning the Hawks from a joke to a playoff team -- and with only one significant veteran helping, guard Mike Bibby.

Now, it's true, most coaches don't get four years with such an awful team; they're usually fired long before then. Atlanta's management deserves some credit for sticking with Woodson. But that was then. This is now. Why is he still a lame duck after not only getting to the postseason, but doing something when his team got there?

There have been other coaches who've pulled off similar feats in recent years. Don Nelson went 19-31 in Dallas during the lockout season of 1999, and then won 40, 53, 57 and 60 games in successive seasons. George Karl took over for Jeff Bzdelik midway through the 2004 season and posted a 32-8 mark, which he has followed with 44, 45, 50 and 54 victories. (Come to think of it, Karl doesn't have a contract after this season, either. What in the Wide World of Sports is going on here?)

What is coaching but getting players to become the best they can be, then showing that on a nightly basis? Anyone who's seen the improvement in Josh Smith under Woodson's tough love the last four years can't have any doubts about Woodson's abilities as a coach.

"He's caught so much hell from me," Woodson said Friday. "He's stayed the course, man, in terms of how we viewed him, and us pushing him, from a coach-player relationship. He and I have had some knockdown battles, but I respect him so much, because he has stayed the course and he's trying to do the right things. And our team has gotten better as a result of that."

The Hawks have also gotten better as a result of Woodson. That should be rewarded, but it doesn't look like it will be.

Top O' the World, Ma!

(Last week's ranking in brackets)

1) Phoenix [4] (14-3): Most road wins in the league.

2) Dallas [2] (12-5): J-Kidd still running the show.

3) L.A. Lakers [5] (12-3): Three double-doubles out of the box for Gasol.

4) Orlando [3] (14-4): Best in East after beating Hawks on road.

5) Boston [6] (13-4): League-best point differential.

6) Atlanta [1] (12-5): Still can play loose games, like Sunday.

7) Cleveland [7] (12-5): Best when they play small.

8) Denver [8] (12-5): Had been devouring the league's chum.

9) Portland [10] (12-7): Excellent defensively -- most of the time.

10) San Antonio [NR] (9-6): Remember when they were struggling? Neither do they.

11) Oklahoma City [13] (9-8): MVP chants for Durant in Ford Center. Premature.

12) Milwaukee [9] (8-7): Ilyasova giving them punch on the boards.

13) Miami [11] (9-7): Need to find a second for Wade.

14) Utah [14] (9-7): Boozer back playing at All-Star level.

15) Houston [12] (9-8): Adelman going nine deep and getting production.

Team of the Week

(11/23/09-11/29/09)

San Antonio (4-0): Manu back, but Spurs rolling without him.

Team fo the Weak

Philadelphia (0-4): Can't score. Lost six straight. Don't draw. Maybe they need to bring someone in to give them a spark. Any suggestions?

Nobobdy asked me, but ...

What is Phil Mushnick talking about?

Mushnick, the New York Post's media columnist, wrote on Sunday that the media ignored the death of Wizards owner Abe Pollin last week -- because, if I'm interpreting Mushnick correctly, Pollin didn't call attention to himself like other loudmouth owners and spent most of his life doing good, quiet deeds. From the moment Pollin died, Mushnick wrote, "we got busy forgetting him."

A pretty strong sentiment.

Except, it's completely wrong.

Now, some people may not think so, but I still consider myself a member of the media. Didn't I write this the day after Pollin's death? Wasn't this on the Worldwide Leader? Wasn't this on the Worldwide's NBA blog? Wasn't this on AOL Fanhouse? Didn't the legendary D.C. talk show host and community activist Harold Bell write this the other day? What about this? And this?

I'm fairly certain that most people consider The Washington Post a member of the media. Wasn't this the lead story, taking up the entire top half of the newspaper, on Wednesday morning? Wasn't this in the paper, too? And this? And this? And this? And this?

But that's the local paper, you say; that doesn't count. Okay. What about her? And her? And him? And them?

Mushnick takes shots at just about everyone in my line of work; he's taken shots at me before. That's fair; he's allowed his opinion. But this isn't opinion. This is just incorrect.

MVP Watch

(11/23/09-11/29/09)

It has dawned on me that this means nothing if I don't rank these guys. So, here you go:

1) Carmelo Anthony, Denver (32.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4 apg, .542 FG, .878 FT): Half a C-Note gets you to the top of the list.

2) Kobe Bryant, Lakers (28 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 5.7 apg, .579 FG): Ever dominant.

3) Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas (27.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2 assists, .582 FG, .902 FT): Doing most of his work inside the 3-point line.

4) LeBron James, Cleveland (28 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 7.7 apg, .508 FG, .773 FT): Shaq comes back, free-throw attempts go down.

5) Steve Nash, Phoenix (13.3 ppg, 14.3 apg, .567 FG): Never makes a bad decision.

6) Dwyane Wade, Miami (23 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 6 apg, .359 FG): Subpar week all around.

DROPPED OUT: Dwight Howard, Orlando.

By the Numbers

19 -- Games that Indiana forward Mike Dunleavy, Jr., has been limited to since late 2007 with knee problems. Dunleavy played in his first game of the season on Friday.

8 -- Wins in November for the Kings, who finished .500. It's the first month since January, 2008 that Sacramento has won at least eight games in a month.

.097 -- Combined win percentage of the 3-14 Knicks and the 0-17 Nets after Sunday's games. The great basketball fans of New York deserve better. They really do.

I'm Feelin ...

1) L-Frank. A good guy who got dealt a bad, bad hand. He'll be back.

2) The Hawks' new "ATL" home unis. Something clean and fresh about them, I don't know. Plus, how do you mess up red?

3) Luke Ridnour and Brandon Jennings in the backcourt together. Smart decision by Scott Skiles to get the most out of both players, and to take some of the pressure off of Jennings to make plays and score all the time. Now, look, I'm not going to be revisionist; I didn't think Skiles was a great choice to coach the Bucks when GM John Hammond made the decision last year. But he's taken a team that was supposed to be Lottery-bound and has it playing very, very hard.

4) Shaq, paying for the funeral of 5-year-old Shaniya Davis, the North Carolina girl whose young life was filled with horrors no one of any age should have to endure. She is at peace, and her family wasn't bankrupted trying to give her a decent burial thanks to the largesse of O'Neal. I know Shaq says and does things that make him hard to defend sometimes, but Big Fella's heart is almost always in the right place.

5) New Orleans, tonight. The Hornets have established themselves in the Easy, but the Saints are a religion, and the whole town is sitting shiva this year for the 10-0 team's Super Bowl chances. The Patriots come to town in what might be the biggest game in team history; a win tonight and the Saints will have the inside track to an unbeaten regular season. I'd pay good money to be in the Superdome tonight.

6) The Truth, getting, um, physical on Chris Bosh.

7) Anthony Morrow, Vladmir Radmanovic and Monta Ellis, throwbacks. Golden State's trio played 48 minutes each Tuesday, part of a six-man rotation that went into Dallas and beat the Mavericks. (Stephen Curry played 35 minutes; Mikki Moore 31 minutes at center and Anthony Randolph, the only guy that got off the bench, played 30.) It was the first time in 45 years that the Warriors had three players that each went the full 48 in a game.

8) Jonny Flynn and the Wolves, getting off a 15-game schneid in, of all places, Denver. After giving up 40 in the first quarter and trailing by 15. Nice win.

9) Vince Young, reborn. Met him at the All-Star Weekend in his hometown of Houston, in 2006. He seemed quite likeable. Watched from afar as he went through an awful lot of trials and tribulations, and worried for his safety, from what you read. Now, he's got a second chance, and he's making the most of it, as driving 99 yards in two minutes for a game-winning touchdown pass on Sunday as time expired against Arizona -- and a fifth straight win overall -- will attest.

Not Feelin' ...

1) Speaking of which, what's up with Bosh's teammates not having his back after Pierce's dunk? There was a lot of flexing going on with very little response from the road team.

2) Ron-Ron in his skivvies on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" last Monday night. I would ask why he did it, but what would be the point?


There's something awful in the water in Detroit.
Allen Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images

3) Whatever the Pistons are drinking out of the Detroit River. Charlie Villanueva broke his nose Sunday, joining Tayshaun Prince (back) and Rip Hamilton (ankle) on the shelf. Trust me; John Kuester didn't expect he'd actually have to play Jonas Jerebko.

4) Whichever Wilson brother is doing that AT&T commercial. If I'm less likely to buy your product rather than more likely because you're that annoying, it's not working.

5) Charlie Weis' future under the Golden Dome. Mr. Weis, red courtesy phone. A Mr. Willingham is on the line, laughing. Hysterically.

Tweet of the Week

Worst time in my life. Depressed & miserable. Gone ...
-- Nets guard Chris Douglas-Roberts (@cdouglasroberts), Wednesday, Nov. 25, 12:32 a.m., after his Nets lost their 15th straight game to start the season in Denver Tuesday night. It got worse.

Mr. Fifteen

This week's Mr. Fifteen is Hawks reserve center Jason Collins. Collins, who will turn 31 on Wednesday, has played a grand total of seven minutes this season for Atlanta, as the third-string center behind Al Horford and Zaza Pachulia -- and, in truth, the Hawks would likely play Joe Smith in the middle if need be ahead of Collins as well. Collins signed with Atlanta this summer after finishing last season in Minnesota, the latest detour in a career that seemed to be going along smoothly his first six seasons in New Jersey, when he started for Byron Scott and Lawrence Frank as a serviceable big man. In Atlanta, Collins is strictly big man insurance, but stands at the ready.

Me: You've started most of your career. You have any sympathy for what Allen is going through right now?

Collins

Jason Collins: Allen?

Me: Iverson.

JC: You know, I think every professional athlete -- and Allen is obviously a Hall of Famer, you've got to give him a lot of credit for the amount of pounding he took by going in the paint as small as he is -- but I think every professional, I think there can always a role for a player of his caliber. The question is whether, what that role is and if he's comfortable accepting that role. That's only in his mind, if that's what he wants to do and how he wants to end his career. That's up to him. He's proven that he's in tremendous athletic shape and ability. Nobody's ever going to question his conditioning or anything like that, and his skill level. It's just a matter of accepting what role that team is asking him to do.

Me: This summer, how did you come to grips with that?

JC: Being in Minnesota last year. (Laughs) That's an experience in itself. It's difficult what they're going through, still going through this year. I'm just very fortunate to be in a situation where I'm on a great team. If my number's called, I obviously have to stay ready. It's just a matter of me accepting that role that I'm on. On this team, I'm a safety-net type thing if I'm coming in. I've got to be the professional on the bench and when his name and number's called, I have to be ready. It's obviously a great situation. We've got a lot of great young players, along with some nice veteran leadership.

Me: Are the young guys receptive when you pull them to the side and say 'you may want to look for this or this?'

JC: Definitely. Definitely. I think everybody on this team wants to improve, wants to get better. You've got to take advantage of that experience -- Joe Smith, myself, (MIke) Bibby, we have a lot of playoff experience.

Me: Have you had to change things as you get older?

JC: Oh, yeah. There's a lot of stuff you have to change to be effective in this league. But that's just being a professional. It's just loving your job and going out there and doing what it takes to be successful.

Me: How much pride do you take in the fact that you and Jarron (Jason's twin brother, playing this season for the Suns) have played a lot of years in this league as solid role players?

JC: A lot of pride in that. We do things to help the team win.

They said it

"230 AM no alcohol or else? wife beats crap out of back window with club? sounds weird? come on Tiger"
--Former Mavs, Pacers, Sonics and Blazers forward Detlef Schrempf, Tweeting his skepticism about Tiger Woods' car accident this weekend.

"It's not like I dug my shoulder into him. He hits my shoulder on a pick and he goes 'Oooh,' and he acts like I shot him."
--Celtics forward Rasheed Wallace, to Boston reporters, the latest to carp about the flopping tactics of Toronto's Hedo Turkoglu. The league helped itself to $30,000 of Mr. Wallace's loot in response.

"For them to just ignore this, when we see basketball players get fined for cursing, for getting drunk, for any kind of misconduct ... rap music. I mean, it really is, it's a blemish on the NBA. They have to do an internal investigation here."
-- Richard Herman, criminal defense attorney and law professor, advocating action by the league on CNN in the aftermath of Clippers owner Donald Sterling's record-setting settlement of a housing discrimination case in California, in which Sterling paid $2.7 million to litigants who'd claimed he discriminated against African-Americans and Latinos in renting procedures for his apartments.

Longtime NBA reporter and columnist David Aldridge is an analyst for TNT. You can e-mail him here.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.

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