Around the Association
-- Andrew Bynum might finally be nearing a debut with the Philadelphia 76ers. Bynum participated in a five-on-five scrimmage with teammates on Friday, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, as he continues to recover from bone bruises and weakened cartilage in both knees. Depending on how Bynum feels during the weekend, he could soon return to practice. He can be an unrestricted free agent after the season.
-- Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut is shelved again with back spasms. He has played in only 12 games this season because of left ankle surgery.
-- Danny Granger was expected to make his season debut Saturday night for the Indiana Pacers. Granger, whose name surfaced in trade speculation last week, has missed the season with a knee injury. Granger is making $13 million this season and will earn $14 million next year in the final year of his contract.
-- The city of Seattle cleared another major hurdle in obtaining the Sacramento Kings when a Washington judge dismissed a lawsuit that would've blocked the construction of a new arena in Seattle. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has promised to deliver a proposal to the league in March for a new arena to keep the team. From there, the league's other owners will decide the Kings' fate.
-- MarShon Brooks is unhappy with his lack of playing time with the Brooklyn Nets and still believes he could be a prolific scorer in the NBA if given the opportunity. "I still believe if I got the minutes I could score 20 points per game," he told the New York Daily News. "I don't really mind where I play basketball. I just want more of an opportunity than this year."
-- Warriors forward Carl Landry donated $10,000 worth of boxing, fitness and recreation equipment to a boxing club in East Oakland that was burglarized a few times last year, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
-- Nets point guard Deron Williams revealed he has taken at least eight cortisone shots to his ankles in the past four months in an effort to get the pain manageable from inflammation. Williams injured his ankle early in camp with the U.S. Olympic team last summer and has struggled ever since. The only real cure is rest, but the Nets are in the thick of the playoff race. "It's tough because we're in a position where we are right now in the polls we lose a couple games we slip to sixth or seventh," Williams told the Daily News. "We win a couple and we're up to second so I need to be out there as much as possible. That's what my focus is and I'll continue doing things in the training room and the weight room just to stay as healthy and fresh as possible."
-- NBA journeyman D.J. White is expected to join the Boston Celtics this week. White has bounced around between the Charlotte Bobcats and Oklahoma City Thunder and recently completed his season in China, allowing him to sign with an NBA team.
-- Former No. 1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani was not traded at the deadline by the Toronto Raptors and now the scene at home games is turning ugly. Bargnani has been injured and criticized for his play to the point where Raptors General Manager Bryan Colangelo tried unsuccessfully moving him out of town. "He's affected by it, obviously. I think we all are," Colangelo said. "But he's a man and he has to strap on his shoes and play basketball. I think him just even getting the trade deadline behind him and all the uncertainty about whether he will be here or not will probably help a bit. But he's here, he's part of the team and we are going to try and get the most out of him."
OFF the Ball
With the death of Jerry Buss last week, it's fair to wonder if the Los Angeles Lakers can remain . . . well, the Lakers.
Through all the stars, the championships and the Hollywood glamour, Buss has been the constant factor in the Lakers' decades of success. He recently began relinquishing control of the day-to-day operations to his son, Jim, and the results haven't been pretty.
It was Jim's decision to hire Mike Brown last year, then Brown was promptly fired five games into the season. Jim was in charge of a roster that has woefully underachieved this season, leaving the Lakers in jeopardy of missing the playoffs for the second time in 18 years.
"The Lakers will never be the same," Cavs coach Byron Scott said, referring to the aura Buss brought to the franchise. Scott is closer to Jeanie Buss than he is to Jim, with whom he doesn't have much of a relationship. But he is confident the Buss family will try to keep the Lakers one of the league's most famous teams.
Their aging roster, cap mess and now the loss of their patriarch, however, might mean curtains for Showtime.
NBA Quote of the Week
"Joakim Noah is a great player. Luol Deng is a great player. But you need more than that. You have to put together pieces to your main piece. The players can only do so much. It's up to the organization to make them better. . .. It's frustrating to see my brother play his heart and soul out for the team and them not put anything around him."
-- Reggie Rose, brother of Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose. Reggie ripped team management for failing to make a move at the trade deadline.
NBA By the Numbers 115
Kyrie Irving's points scored in the clutch, the most of any player in the league. "Clutch" in this case is points scored in the last five minutes of a game when the Cavs are ahead or behind by 5 points or less.
Consecutive seasons in which the Los Angeles Lakers will pay the luxury tax. They'll owe about $30 million in taxes this season.
(c)2013 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)
Visit the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) at www.ohio.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services