NBA Rumors: Playing Fact or Fiction with the Early-Season Buzz
It may be early in the 2012-2013 NBA season, but that doesn't mean plenty of rumors aren't already out there just waiting to be entertained.
Whether it be Eric Gordon's health, Dwight Howard and Chris Paul discussing playing together or an odd bet between Tim Duncan and an ex-teammate, there's never a dull moment in the world of professional basketball.
So which buzz out there is real, and which is just playing with our gullible minds?
Here's an early look at the season's hottest rumors.
Michael Jordan Called About a James Harden Trade to Bobcats
Desperately searching for a star for his lowly Bobcats, Michael Jordan nearly found one in Oklahoma City.
Before trading James Harden to the Houston Rockets, it's likely Thunder general manager Sam Presti fielded quite a number of phone calls and offers for the 2011-2012 Sixth Man of the Year.
One of these calls came from Charlotte, the Charlotte Observer confirms.
When asked about a potential Harden trade to the Bobcats, Jordan said, “We made a couple phone calls. That’s all I can say.’’
In other words, "Yeah, I called Sam. Turns out he just wasn't interested in our offer of everybody except Michael Kidd-Gilchrist."
Huh, who woulda thought?
Stephen Curry's Contract Is Injury-Proof for Warriors
The Warriors and Stephen Curry reached an agreement on a four-year, $44 million deal that will kick in after the conclusion of this season.
Curry has shown to be a spectacular player when healthy but missed 40 games last season with an ankle injury.
Despite his injury concerns, the Dubs felt strong enough to extend Curry without an injury or opt-out clause.
This from the San Jose Mercury News:
An NBA source confirmed this morning that there is no injury language in the Curry deal, which kicks in next season, and that the contract is fully guaranteed.
I’m told some kind of injury-exclusion clause was brought up in general terms by the Warriors during an early stage of the talks, but it was a complete no-go from Curry’s side.
Golden State is rolling the dice but will get the better end of the deal provided Curry spends most of his time on the court.
Eric Gordon Will Miss the Entire 2012-2013 Season with Knee Injury
Conclusion: Fiction, for now
Gordon played a whopping nine games with the Hornets last season and still was rewarded with a $58 million contract.
May we all be so lucky in our job attendance-pay ratios.
Gordon has suffered yet another setback on his troublesome right knee, and Jimmy Smith of The Times-Picayune reports that Gordon is now out "indefinitely."
Gordon admitted he experienced a setback at some point between the U.S. Olympic Basketball Team trials and the time he reported for training camp Oct. 1, which has prevented him from participating in any of the Hornets' preseason schedule.
For a team leaning on so much youth already, the small-market Hornets need to see their star player pay dividends for them.
Let's hope this season for Gordon and the Hornets is very different from the last.
Marcus Camby Was Originally Courted by the New York Knicks
As it turns out, New York wasn't the only team in the running for the veteran big man.
The Miami Heat first scheduled a meeting with Camby and were going to fly him to Miami to meet with team personnel, according to the Miami Herald.
This from Camby, via the Herald's Joseph Goodman:
I was going on the plane to Miami when Allan [Houston], Glen [Grunwald] and [Mike Woodson] came down to Houston. That’s how close I was. I had a good talk with coach [Pat] Riley on the phone. We talked for an extended period of time about them wanting me to come down there. In hindsight, I felt I was always a Knick at heart.
It may have been unfair for Camby to join the Heat and fill what is currently their weakest position. The rest of the league should be glad he ultimately chose the Big Apple.
Tim Duncan Dared Brent Barry to Kiss David Stern
Conclusion: Fact, (Un)Fortunately
From BuzzFeed comes the soon-to-be-legendary story of how the big smooch went down, as told by Brent Barry:
At the start of the 2006 season David Stern made his third trip to south Texas to award the 2005 championship rings to our team that defeated the Pistons in seven games the previous June.
As I basked in that satisfaction I stood next to Tim Duncan. I said something like "Well that was fun last year, we should try to do this again!" He giggled his goofy giggle. And then I asked him how much he would give me if I kissed David Stern upon getting my ring.
He offered a sum, I considered it and waited for my name to be called. As I approached the Commish I felt like I couldn't let my captain down. So after a quick "Congratulations Brent" from David I hugged him and planted one right on his cheek. To this day, I swear he and grandma have the same skin.
As I moved slowly from the spotlight as it found the next player, I casually glanced over to Tim and, wiping my tongue with my finger tips as if something flakey remained from my time with Mr. Stern, I mouthed the words: "You owe me a hundred bucks!"
I swear I heard him laugh all the way over to where I stood on the court.
Don't you wish stories like this came out more often?
Tim Duncan, when his Hall of Fame career eventually winds down, may have a future as a consultant on Match.com.
Dwight Howard, Chris Paul Had Plan to Join Dallas Mavericks Together
From the world of shocking-but-true news, NBA players are now calling each other to team up on "super teams"!
Hard to believe, right? This time around it was the new men in L.A., Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, who wanted to join forces, according to Yahoo! Sports:
Sources close to both players said Howard and Paul settled on the Dallas Mavericks as an ideal destination, knowing owner Mark Cuban had the means to clear salary-cap space for them. The Mavericks explored trades for both players, but didn't have attractive enough assets to make a deal.
"We were trying to play together, but it didn't work out," said Howard.
"I tried to get him to come to New Orleans," Paul said. "It was back and forth, here and there."
Both Howard and Paul will be free agents in the summer of 2013. Might we see a team-up in Atlanta?