Author: Matt Moore

Lamar Odom Clippers

Lamar Odom apologizes to Cuban, Mavericks


Ric Bucher of ESPN tweeted Friday the following:

Lamar Odom, unprompted, told me he’d like to apologize to Mark Cuban and Mavs fans for not being himself. Felt it was beyond his power.

via Twitter / RicBucher: Lamar Odom, unprompted, told ….

So how did that go over, ESPN Dallas?

Asked about Odom’s apology Friday evening, Cuban declined comment.

via Is apology from Lamar Odom on the way? – Dallas Mavericks Blog – ESPN Dallas.


Odom’s trying to turn over a new leaf back in L.A. with the other team. He’s trying to get back on the good foot to fix his career, but what happened in Dallas will remain a fairly substantial black mark on his permanent record, so to speak. He abandoned his teammates, let the coaching staff down, and made Cuban and management look foolish for believing in him.

Oh, yeah, and the trade helped the Lakers land Steve Nash, who the Mavericks were interested in. So, no, I wouldn’t expect a Christmas card from the Cubans.

But the good news is that he has a chance to turn it all around with a strong performance for the Clippers and get back to where he was a vital contributor on a championship team. And at least he’s willing to own up to what happened. To a degree. As the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes, that last line about it being beyond his power isn’t going to go over well with some people, despite all the personal turmoil of the past two years for Odom.

Ray Allen brushes off Kevin Garnett’s barking while enjoying the beach

Ray Allen

There are some players and stories that in order to get the real feeling for how intense the situation is, you have to divide the hype by about 10. Others, though, you have to multiply by 10 to get a real sense of the bad blood. Ray Allen vs. the Celtics is a multiplier situation. Both sides are trying to downplay it. But there’s a clear and present disdain from the Celtics for Allen’s “defection” and on Saturday, Allen let it be known that he’s too busy admiring the water to be bothered. From Fox Sports Florida:

Kevin Garnett fired the latest salvo on Friday.

“I don’t have Ray’s number anymore,” the Boston center said. “I’m not trying to communicate. I’m just being honest.”

On Saturday in Miami, Allen just shrugged it off.

“That’s a shame,” Allen said. “I’m a good person to talk to on the phone.

“I’ve been around long enough to know that when you speak, sometimes what you say, I don’t know how many miles apart we are, sometimes the translation gets mixed up,” Allen said. “If I even was still (with the Celtics), I probably wouldn’t talk to him much over the summer. We’re friends regardless of what happened. … I’m not worried about it.”

via Allen not bothered by barbs from Celtics.

That’s basically “U MAD, BRO?” in Ray Allen speak.

Garnett, Pierce, and Rondo have made it known that they are not impressed with Allen’s decision and that he has burned the Ubuntu bridge behind him. But Allen the entire time has acted like a professional, and in the interview linked above, he continues to be that way. He’s simply not going to get sucked into the drama. But on opening night, and in every subsequent matchup, there’s going to be a different vibe on the floor.

These two teams have never liked each other. The Celtics have thought of themselves as Kings of the hill since 2008, and the Heat have reveled in their ability to get past them the past two years after season after season of heartbreak. But this is a whole different thing. This feels like a betrayal to the guys in green, and it’s going to be obvious when they play how they feel about Allen.

Is Paul Millsap actually in a battle for the starting spot with Derrick Favors?

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Clippers

Paul Millsap is following the right path when it comes to his free agency next summer. He’s just not going to talk about it. Word has leaked that he won’t sign an extension and will instead pursue free agency, but other than that, he’s shut down any and all talk about it. Millsap clearly doesn’t want to deal with what other big-name players (albeit with bigger names than his) have dealt with in the least year of their contracts. But after a career year, the Salt Lake Tribunebrings us something kind of perplexing. Could Millsap’s future not only be impacted by his contract situation but by competition for his starting spot? From a feature with Millsap this week:

The lingering but unlikely possibility of a multiyear contract extension with the Jazz. An old-school, winner-take-all position battle with Derrick Favors, as the duo compete during training camp for the right to be named Utah’s starting power forward once the 2012-13 regular season begins. A looming entryway into free agency, which could allow Millsap to command the largest payday of his career next July.

via NBA: Utah Jazz’s Paul Millsap embraces biggest year of career | The Salt Lake Tribune.

Wait, what? Paul Millsap, a borderline All-Star last year (and the year before) is in a battle for the starting spot with Derrick Favors? When did this happen? But it’s not absolutely inconceivable. Favors has made huge strides the past two seasons since being traded from New Jersey. He’s versatile, super athletic, and brings tremendous energy.

Eric Freeman of Yahoo! Sports notes that Favors may pair better with Al Jefferson as a rebounder and interior player, especially defensively, which would allow Millsap to come off the bench a change of pace player. It’s not a bad idea in concept, but if you want a surefire way to make sure Millsap doesn’t return in free agency, taking away his starting gig to a younger, and inferior, player is a pretty good start.

Favors has a world of talent, but this is kind of the result of the stockpiling they did without ever clearing the logjam. The Jazz have to figure out who of Jefferson-Millsap-Favors-Kanter they’re going to keep and it’s not going to be easy or come with a simple solution.