Posted: Friday February 9, 2007 10:17AM; Updated: Friday February 9, 2007 10:54AM
Dwyane Wade has plenty of evidence to back his status as a clutch player, and he's not afraid to take a big shot. That holds off the court, as well. Take his disdain for Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki. "Dirk said that they gave us the championship last year," Wade said Thursday. "But he's the reason they lost the championship because he wasn't the leader he's supposed to be in the closing moments."
You've heard about Mike D'Antoni's dilemma: As head coach of the Western Conference All-Stars, he must fill one starting position from his well of reserves. "It's going to be Dirk [Nowitzki] or Steve [Nash]," D'Antoni said after Thursday's practice. D'Antoni said he's going to talk to both players about the dilemma, and don't be surprised if Nash insists that Nowitzki, one of his closest friends, gets the start.
Ray Allen's name continues to be linked to the Knicks, but New York and Seattle haven't had talks about Allen and the Sonics have no plans to trade one of the premier shooters in the game.
The Mavericks analyzed their options and determined that outsiders like Keith Van Horn or Shawn Kemp don't hold much appeal at this point.
A defiant Isiah Thomas vowed yesterday, "I'll make damn sure there is no problem" in the locker room if the Knicks were to acquire an openly gay player while he is the team's president and coach.
Corey Maggette's situation hasn't been a distraction for the team, Clippers sources said Thursday. Maggette sat out Wednesday's loss to the Cavaliers because of what a Clippers official said were flu-like symptoms. There was no coverup, team sources said. Maggette was so ill that he remained at the team hotel for the first half of Wednesday's game.
With the Feb. 22 trade deadline approaching, GM Mitch Kupchak said he was talking regularly with other general managers. The Lakers have several players with expiring contracts, including Chris Mihm, Aaron McKie and Shammond Williams.