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Drawing from its network of NBA insiders--including scouts, coaches and front-office personnel--Fast Break picked up these bits of chatter from around the league.
"It's hard to imagine a team in the West that'd be willing to trade for Allen Iverson. Would Sacramento give up Mike Bibby? Would Golden State give up Baron Davis? Those are the only possibilities I can think of." ... "The most obvious problem with the Knicks is their absence of leadership. They want to rebuild with their young guys, but how are Channing Frye and Eddy Curry going to learn the right way to do things when they're being exposed to all those bad role models?" ... If [Rockets G.M.] Carroll Dawson decides to retire because he's tired of Jeff Van Gundy, I could see Kiki Vandeweghe winding up there."
SEE DIRK RUN
Since his personal manager, Holger Geschwindner, arrived from Germany in early February, Dirk Nowitzki has been learning to run all over again. Having worked with Nowitzki since the Mavs forward was 15 years old, Geschwindner, a former member of the German national team, noticed recently that his client had lapsed into a bad habit of running on his toes. "He has to put the heel down first so that the feet can really roll and not all the pressure is on the tiptoes," says Geschwindner. It's not surprising that the 7-foot, 254-pound Nowitzki has had some problems with his gait--his left foot is a size 15 1/2, a half-size smaller than his right, and his left leg is slightly shorter too. "We have to get a better technique in running so that the joints, bones and muscles last 10 more years," says Geschwindner.
The other major change in Nowitzki has been his ongoing effort to add 13 to 15 pounds of muscle through weightlifting. The Mavs had sought to beef up Nowitzki during his rookie year, but Geschwindner wouldn't allow it then for fear that his client's joints couldn't handle the strain while he was still growing. "But now he's 27, so I guess he won't grow anymore, and everything is stable," says Geschwindner, who anticipates that Nowitzki will weigh 260 next season. "We're trying to get him a little stronger."
3 It was kind of nice not to hear a peep about Shaq and Kobe last weekend, eh?
2 After watching Nate Robinson miss 13 tries in the final of the slam dunk contest and still win the event, isn't it obvious why LeBron wants nothing to do with this hopelessly dumbed-down event?
1 If George Shinn doesn't want to go back to New Orleans, he'd better sell his team. A new owner, though, would have far more luck winning the approval of his fellow owners (who already allowed Shinn to bail on Charlotte) if he wants to keep the Hornets in Oklahoma City or even move them to another city.