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Dwight Howard slams Orlando teammates. Jameer Nelson tells him to stop talking.


It’s not in Dwight Howard’s nature to keep his head down, keep a low profile and just grind it out. I don’t intend that as an insult — he is gregarious, outgoing, talkative, and if you ask him a question he’ll pretty much answer it.

Howard sat down with the a reporter from the L.A. CBS affiliate and in the interview said this about his time in Orlando:

“And I always tell people: Hey, my team in Orlando was a team full of people who nobody wanted, and I was the leader and I led that team with a smile on my face.”

That went over in the Orlando locker room about as well as you imagine it would.

Jameer Nelson took the lead and did everything but tell Howard to shut up in a conversation with the Orlando Sentinel.

“At some point, when are you [Dwight] gonna as a man, when are you going to take ownership and stay out of the media in a professional manner?” Nelson told the Sentinel after Wednesday’s shooatround in Miami.

“I would be less of a man to comment on certain things that people comment on about me and my teammates. We had a great run as a group, as core guys, and he was a part of it (reaching the 2009 Finals) and for him to say things about anybody in a negative manner, that’s up to him.

“That’s his opinion. If that’s how he feels, that’s how he feels.”

We said it before the season and it still remains true — Howard’s reputation has taken a hit in the last year and the only thing that salvages it is playing well on a winning team. Kobe Bryant, LeBron James both were down and won back at least a measure (if not increased) their popularity by leading title teams. It is Howard’s only path.

I’d suggest he not talk so much while doing it, but that goes against his nature.

Greg Smith fails physical, will not join Pelicans

Greg Smith
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With both starter Omer Asik and backup Alexis Ajinca out injured for the rest of the preseason (and maybe a little longer), the Pelicans are looking for a center to put next to Anthony Davis for a stretch. That could include a handful of regular season games.

Greg Smith was going to be that man, but the 24-year-old failed his physical, reports the Times-Picayune.

The New Orleans Pelicans were set to sign power forward Greg Smith, but sources said Friday night that he failed his physical examination and will not be joining the team.

And so the search goes on.

The problem is, there are not quality big men still out there on the market, there is a limited supply and just about anyone worth having is spoken for. A few with non-guaranteed contracts may be waived as we get closer to the end of training camps, but that is likely a couple of weeks away.

With both Asik and Ajinca expected back in a few weeks, it’s not worth making a trade or some big move to bring in a center, the Pelicans are just going to have to live with what is out there.

Kevin Durant with huge dunk on visiting Fenerbahce Ulker

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Welcome to America, Fenerbahce Ulker.

The Turkish powerhouse was in America playing some exhibition games this preseason, and they got a first-hand reminder that Kevin Durant is back. KD had 13 points in the Thunder’s easy 111-81 win.

Not to be outdone, Russell Westbrook got in on the act.