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NBA Truth & Rumors: April 8, 2005

Posted: Friday April 8, 2005 11:07AM; Updated: Friday April 8, 2005 12:24PM
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LeBron James
LeBron James is unhappy with the state of the Cavs' organization.
David Liam Kyle/Getty Images

The Cavaliers instability is not lost on the players. "We lost our coach, we get new players, we get new ownership, and now Pax might be getting fired," Lebron James said. "We just stopped playing our No. 1 point guard for no reason, and as a team we didn't know why. The chemistry has all been shifted." In two seasons, James could force a sign-and-trade deal as a restricted free agent. His shoe contract with Nike would pay him more if he played in New York, Boston or Los Angeles.
-- New York Times

A former Cavs employee declared, "When [Dan] Gilbert's group bought the Cavaliers I thought it was 75-25 LeBron would extend his contract at the appropriate time. In five weeks that percentage has dropped to 40-60. If they don't make the playoffs, LeBron might very well demand a trade."
-- New York Post

Maybe Phil Jackson just crossed his first team off the list of those he will consider this summer. He sat impassively through the Lakers' 114-110 loss to the Rockets last night. Jackson will likely return to the NBA next season. But with Cleveland and LeBron James and Minnesota and Kevin Garnett and New York and, well New York, it seems incredible to believe he will return to an awful Lakers team.
-- Los Angeles Daily News

Seated together in the owner's box, Jerry Buss and Jackson probably talked about a player or two on the Lakers, but there has not been a formal offer to Jackson, and there probably isn't one coming. "Purely a social meeting," Laker spokesman John Black said of the get-together.
-- Los Angeles Times

Laker Coach Frank Hamblen isn't sure if Jackson would come back to the Lakers. "Phil's been a great closer throughout his career. I don't know if he wants to be a fixer-upper," Hamblen said. "He's one of the all-time closers. If he was a reliever, he would certainly be in the baseball HOF." Are the Lakers categorized as fixer-uppers? "I would think so," Hamblen said. "We're not in the playoffs."
-- Los Angeles Times

Hamblen said he hadn't given any consideration to holding the job past this season.
-- Los Angeles Daily News

The one significant Knicks employee without a guarantee for next year is Herb Williams, who may be running out of chances to prove he should remain as head coach next season. Perhaps the best thing Williams has going for him is that many executives feel that Jackson, the top coach available, won't rush to New York to coach this roster.
-- New York Daily News


It's a cruel twist in Curry's bust-out season, in his contract year. His health could give the Bulls pause and the Knicks a better shot. The Knicks Jamal Crawford believes his friend Curry, the center the Knicks need, will stay in Chicago. "That's home for him. He's playing at home. He definitely wants it to work out there," Crawford said. "I'm sure we'll talk about it. Right now let him enjoy his season." Crawford has no regrets leaving Chicago. "Not at all. This year didn't go the way we wanted as far as reaching our goals, but we believe it's short-term."
-- New York Post

The Bulls Tyson Chandler, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, said, All I care about is winning. That's why I want to stay in Chicago. We have something going here, and I've always said I want to be a part of it. Since the day I was [traded for], I've always said my only goal is to restore this franchise to where it was before. I think we can do it."
-- Chicago Tribune

The fact Danny Ainge tabled conversation with the Celtics last May about a contract extension and has since spoken in noncommittal terms has opened the door to speculation. Ainge is signed on as director of basketball operations through the end of next season, but finally made the most important declarative statement with regard to sticking out the building process with the Celts. "Yes, I want to be here," he said. "Of course I do. My job's not done here."
-- Boston Herald

It would be nice if things ended better in Philadelphia for Allen Iverson than they did for Charles Barkley, but that seems increasingly unlikely. It might be time to invite Iverson to write his second act. An offseason trade that would make room for Andre Iguodala and Samuel Dalembert -- and the eventual emergence of the third great player of the post-1983 championship era -- is due, if not overdue.
-- Philadelphia Inquirer