Chris Paul wants to stay in New Orleans, but only if team is commits to winning

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nba_paul_250.jpgTrade rumors — totally ridiculous trade rumors for the most part — are swirling around Chris Paul.

But nobody asked Chris Paul about it. Well, until Chris Broussard of ESPN the Magazine did.

“My first choice is to be in New Orleans,” Paul said in a telephone interview from London. “I just want to make sure we’re committed to winning. If we’re not committed to winning and trying to get better so we can contend with the Lakers, the Celtics and all these other top teams, then I’m open to being traded.”

The outgoing Hornets owner, George Shinn, is committed to cutting costs. That’s where the whole theory behind trading one of the best players in the game as he approaches his peak. You would only do that if you were a penny pincher.

The incoming owner Gary Chouest wants to win. He has suggested he will spend some to do that. But Shinn is strapped for cash and wants Chouest to take on more debt as part of the deal. So the final details of the deal are stalled.

For Paul, all that only matters in his ability to win.

“I’m fine with staying in New Orleans, but I want to make sure we’re committed to winning,” said Paul, whose been lauded for the community work he’s done in New Orleans. “I don’t want to rebuild. I want to win now. It’s nothing personal against the city. I love that city. But my biggest thing is winning.”

“I’m friends with D-Wade, LeBron, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson and all these other free agents,” said Paul, who’s in London promoting his Brand Jordan sneakers. “I’m watching them try to figure out what they’re going to do to put themselves in a position to win championships. I’d love to be a part of that stuff.”

Jeremy Lamb hits game-winner despite Bismack Biyombo, others Hornets prematurely running on court to celebrate

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The Hornets sure were excited for Jeremy Lamb‘s game-winner against the Pistons tonight.

Too excited.

After Lamb hit a jumper to put Charlotte up two with 0.3 seconds left, several Hornets ran onto the court. Bismack Biyombo was nearly at halfcourt as Detroit tried to inbound! He was so far onto the court, I’m not even sure officials noticed him when dinging Malik Monk – closer to the bench –for the violation.

Ashley Holder:

The Pistons made a technical free throw to cut their deficit to one, but they still had to inbound from under their own basket. Their desperation pass was intercepted, and Charlotte held on for a 108-107 win.

Several Hornets were certainly relieved.

Crazily enough, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this.

Suns’ T.J. Warren fined $15k for inappropriate language toward official following ejection (video)

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Everyone on the Suns seems frustrated.

In Phoenix’s loss to the Clippers on Monday, T.J. Warren got ejected. And his outburst will cost him extra.

NBA release:

Phoenix Suns forward T.J. Warren has been fined $15,000 for directing inappropriate language toward a game official following his ejection, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

This wasn’t a lengthy exchange. Warren didn’t linger on the court complaining. He must have said something extremely harsh to warrant two technical fouls and a fine that quickly.

(Despite confusion, the foul preceding the ejection was called on Deandre Ayton, not Warren.)

Pacers star Victor Oladipo returns from 11-game absence

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
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When the Pacers ruled Victor Oladipo out indefinitely a couple weeks ago, it seemed gloomy.

But Indiana weathered the storm, going 7-4 without its best player.

Now, Oladipo is back. He started against the Bucks tonight.

I still think the Raptors, Celtics, 76ers and Bucks will comprise the Eastern Conference’s top tier by the end of the season. But the Pacers (17-10, fourth in East) have a chance to crash the party. They acquitted themselves well without Oladipo, and it should get only easier with their offensive focal point/top perimeter defender.

NBA promotes Bulls’ Mexico game with video of their bus bottoming out

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
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The Bulls will play the Magic in Mexico City tomorrow.

Even amid all Chicago’s problems, that’s still a marquee game for the NBA as it expands its reach globally. So, the league is showcasing Chicago’s trip.

With unintentional hilarity.

NBA:

That sound eight seconds in is Chicago’s season.