Even on an off-day, questions arise with the Lakers. What's wrong with you if the Greatest Teammate Ever is fed up with you? Well, what's wrong with Dwight Howard is he still isn't trying. And for Steve Nash -- who has spent close to two decades in the NBA making anyone who tried hard next to him look better than ever and who said during his own MVP heights that if everybody worked as hard as he does, he wouldn't even be in the league -- not trying is infuriating. ... [On Sunday], after so many games now feeling trapped by so many instances of Howard's immobility, Nash snapped -- far more so than when the two squabbled in Denver on Dec. 26, Howard's most lifeless game of the season besides Thursday in Boston. Why won't Howard try? (The Orange County Register) Comment
Steelers linebacker James Harrison is willing to restructure his contract, though a pay cut isn't his preference, obviously. [That] stubborn streak could make him an ex-Steeler. Harrison is scheduled to earn $6.57 million in 2013 and $7.57 million in '14. That's a big salary-cap number for a pass-rusher who turns 35 in May, is coming off knee surgery a year ago and is two years removed from two back surgeries. Harrison may be banged up, but it's shortsighted to label him old. ... Are the Steelers better off with Harrison on their payroll, even in a more limited role, at a fraction of his salary? Yes, they are. To believe otherwise is delusional. ... At the same time, [agent Bill Parise] said the Steelers made no assurances they won't release Harrison. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) Comment
Minnesota's weekend loss to Illinois dropped its Big Ten record to 5-6, further damaging Tubby Smith's conference record in February over the past three years. The timing of Smith's latest ugly loss is interesting. Last year, Illinois pursued Virginia Commonwealth coach Shaka Smart. He turned down the job. Smart was hired at VCU as a 32-year-old, in a piece of managerial brilliance, by newish Gophers athletic director Norwood Teague. Smith has a new, restructured contract that calls for a $2.5 million buyout. ... [That] number is starting to look like a bargain. ... If he can't drag his most talented team back to .500 and make his program presentable for the NCAA tournament selectors, Teague should buy him out and lure Smart to The Barn. (Star Tribune) Comment
Colorado Avalanche's Cody McLeod and Phoenix Coyotes' Kyle Chipchura duke it out in the first period in Denver. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
No matter who's missing from the San Antonio Spurs, they just keep on winning, as evidenced by last night's game vs. the Chicago Bulls.