NBA news and notes (cont'd)
"A lot of players don't have the information, like 'What's going on?' " Dudley, the Suns' team representative, told SI.com recently. "Derek Fisher wanted an audit. He wanted to know what's going on with the money and all of that. From the inside -- and I'm on the inside with the players -- it sounds fishy after the lockout that you want our president to leave, a president who's auditing the head chairman.
"So that right there smells wrong. I'm not up to speed 100 percent with what went on. And the reason that I'm not 100 percent up to speed is because I feel like there's been no information [given out]. I think that's a plan for the NBPA and how they want to handle it internally, and that's fine."
Where to start with the league's most talked-about team. Well, for starters, the company that owns the Staples Center and 30 percent of the Lakers, AEG, is up for sale. It didn't take long for possible suitors to surface. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the richest man in the city, local billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, may be a bidder.
You'd think Lakers legend Magic Johnson would jump at the chance to own a piece of his former team, but he might be feeling the pinch lately. As Johnson revealed to HBO recently, the price tag on his minority share of the Dodgers was a whopping $50 million -- or, to put it in Lakers-centric terms, $20 million more than Kobe Bryant's league-high salary for next season.
Meanwhile, Dwight Howard finally opened up in a big way about his ugly end in Orlando and his new beginning with the Lakers.
Howard's teammate Metta World Peace is continuing his foray into the comedy world on Thursday night, doing a show at the famed Laugh Factory in Los Angeles. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to his nonprofit, Xcel University, and The Metta Center for Nonviolence.
In related news, new Lakers point guard Steve Nash joined Jay Leno on the Tonight Show on Tuesday and managed to deliver a few jokes of his own. After sharing his excitement over joining the Lakers, he was asked which team was the biggest obstacle to a title.
"Obviously the Miami Heat are the champs, and I know you and Dwyane Wade are really tight," Nash said sarcastically. "He's on the show, what, twice a week?"
The comedic claws, as Leno noted, were out.
"Steve Nash, pithy," he shot back.
Jeremy Lin worked out for the first time in front of the Houston media on Tuesday, then proceeded to make it clear that he doesn't see himself as the face of the Rockets' franchise. It's not what Lin wants to hear, but he is indeed the closest thing the Rockets have to a centerpiece. Veteran shooting guard Kevin Martin is easily the best talent, but he has also been on the trading block for quite a while now as Houston has tried to land a superstar. Lin is the globally known 24-year-old who came to town by way of that three-year, $25.1 million deal the Knicks didn't match, so the brightest spotlight will be his whether he wants it or not.
Hierarchy discussions aside, Lin -- who lost 10 pounds in the offseason -- reported that he is fully recovered from the season-ending arthroscopic surgery he had in late March to repair a small meniscus tear in his left knee.
Rose wasn't the only one to bare his soul recently. Knicks guard Iman Shumpert used the power of poetry to pay tribute to his late aunt at the Village Underground in New York.
There was a regrettable omission from my reporting on Matt Barnes' deal with the Clippers: the Blake Griffin factor. While I was told Chris Paul definitely had a say in the Barnes addition (and Paul surely has a say on everything Clippers-related these days), the Los Angeles Times reported that Griffin gave his blessing on the Barnes move as well. This only matters, of course, because Barnes went out of his way to criticize Griffin at length last season for, among other things, his flopping. Funny how bygones can be bygones when the jerseys look the same.
Meanwhile, there is still no deal for the player Barnes is replacing. Veteran power forward Kenyon Martin is determined not to take the veteran's minimum and thus remains unemployed.
Anyone tracking the never-ending saga of the Kings and their uncertain status in Sacramento remembers AEG as the high-powered and heavily invested third party in a downtown arena deal between the team's owners, the Maloofs, and the city that appeared to be agreed on in February. But even though that project was already widely considered dead after the Maloofs backed out in mid-April, SI.com checked in with a source close to the situation to see if the looming AEG sale was yet another nail in the coffin of that deal.
"Not sure how many nails that baby will hold," the source quipped.
Dudley was his entertaining and insightful self in our interview for SI.com's "Tweet Week," which is still going strong. There are even a few previously untold lockout tales in there for those of you who like reliving nightmares.