ESPN Dallas’ Tim McMahon and Marc Stein have the report:
At halftime of his final game with the Dallas Mavericks Saturday night, Lamar Odom had an angry exchange with Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in the visitors’ locker room in Memphis, according to sources familiar with the discussion.
Sources told ESPNDallas.com that the heated words were “the culmination” of an exasperating weekend. That convinced team officials to initiate discussions on Easter that led to the parties agreeing split for the rest of the season.
According to sources, the crux of the heated halftime confrontation was Cuban asking Odom if he was “in or out.” Sources said Odom, who had played only four minutes in the first half, reacted angrily to the question and did not take his seat on the bench until after the third quarter began.
According to Stein and McMahon, Cuban had been one of Odom’s biggest supporters during his lousy season with the Mavericks, but it looks like he simply got fed up with Odom’s uneven and uninspired play. Odom averaged just 6.6 points per game on 35.2% shooting for the Mavericks this season before he agreed to be placed on the inactive list for the remainder of the year.
From our friends at CollegeBasketballTalk:
Connecticut’s had 13 players leave early for the NBA during Jim Calhoun’s coaching tenure. Sophomore Jeremy Lamb will be the 14th.
The lanky wing announced his decision Tuesday, which doesn’t come as a huge surprise. He could’ve come out last season after the Huskies’ run to the national title and been a first-round pick. Lamb might be a lottery selection this season.
“It was a difficult decision, but after much prayer and discussion with my parents, I feel that it’s in the best interest of me and my family to declare myself eligible for the upcoming NBA Draft and pursue my dream of playing professional basketball,” Lamb said in a statement.
The 6-5 sophomore is currently projected as the 12th overall pick by DraftExpress, and ESPN.com’s Chad Ford has Lamb at the #12 spot on his NBA draft big board. Lamb’s shooting stroke, smooth game, and insane 7-foot wingspan are what will make him a likely lottery pick on draft night.
Here’s an interesting quote from Sam Vincent on Michael Jordan, via the Washington Post’s Rick Maese:
“The work he put in to be a great player and the work you put in to be a great executive, those are different things,” said Sam Vincent, whom Jordan hired as his head coach in 2007 less than a year after he became minority owner. “That additional time you spend on jump shots, running, dunking, I don’t know if he puts in that same amount of time as an executive or if he even cares to.”
This shouldn’t be particularly surprising news to anybody: many great ex-players who go into front-office careers after their playing days are over seem to rely on their instincts, while being a successful front office man in today’s NBA requires a grueling work schedule in order to keep up with prospect scouting, advanced scouting, new statistical tools, and hours and hours of film study on opposing players.
Jordan, who has always loved golf and gambling, isn’t the archetypal front office man for today’s NBA, and his time in the Wizards’ and Bobcats’ front office seems to be showing that his front-office instincts aren’t nearly as good as the on-court instincts that allowed him to lead the Bulls to 6 NBA Championships.
The Bobcats are currently 7-47, and it’s almost certain that they’ll finish with the NBA’s worst record this season. Winning the lottery and snagging Anthony Davis could help turn the team around, but they may need to make some changes at the very top of the organization in order to become a competitive franchise.
From the Los Angeles Clippers’ Madelyn Burke:
Mo Williams (toe) will not play tonight vs Grizzlies
Williams has averaged 13.6 points and 3.1 assists per game for the Clippers this season, but has missed the last 9 games for the team. The Clippers were on a 3-game losing streak before Williams got injured, and have gone 8-1 in the 9 games he’s missed. The Grizzlies are currently 1.5 games behind the Clippers for the 4th seed in the Western Conference.
NEW YORK — The Miami Heat’s LeBron James and the Houston Rockets’ Goran Dragic today were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, April 2, through Sunday, April 8.
James led the Heat to a 3-1 week with averages of 30.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.3 steals. James led Miami in scoring and minutes in all four games, and steals and assists three times each. James tallied a season-high 41 points during a 99-93 win over Philadelphia on April 3.
Dragic helped the Rockets to a 3-0 week with averages of 20.7 points, 8.3 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 2.7 steals. Dragic, who has reached double figures in scoring in a career-high 18 consecutive games, posted 21 points and tied a career high with four steals during a 99-93 win over the Bulls on April 2.
LeBron’s big week helped him snap out of a quasi-slump: Before the April 3rd game against Philadelphia, LeBron had not scored 30 or more points in 9 straight games, and the Heat were 6-3 in those games. The Heat are currently trailing the Bulls by 2 games for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Dragic’s big week helped Houston stay in the playoff mix: the Rockets currently have the 6th seed in the Western Conference, and would face the Lakers in a 1st-round series if the playoffs started today.