Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lakers are Strongly Considering a Trade to Get Back on Track

Mitch Kupchak isn't happy with how the Lakers are playing and the general manager says he has pondered making a trade to shake things up.

The Lakers are coming off back-to-back losses at home.

"Yes ... I may have to look into a trade, but I'm not saying we have" talked to other teams yet, Kupchak said. "We have not been playing up to our level and I don't know why. Maybe it's complacency. I'm not sure."

The two-time defending champions are 1-5 against the NBA's elite teams this season. The Lakers have the highest payroll ($91 million) in the league, which will make a trade complicated.

"We do have a lot of talent and when we added [Matt] Barnes and [Steve] Blake, I thought that we had a better team," Kupchak said. "But right now we're not playing good basketball. I think we should be playing better basketball."

LeBron Wishes Cavs "the Best"

The Cavaliers haven't won a game in more than a month and LeBron James says he isn't enjoying the team's pain.

Speaking before the Heat faced the Cavaliers on Monday night, LeBron said the team's struggles don't prove that he made the right choice in joining up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.

Miami's win extended Cleveland's losing streak to 21 games.

"It didn't matter for me if the Cavs were going to have a successful season or not," James said. "I felt like I was making the right choice for me as an individual and for my career. Like I said, I have nothing bad to say about the players that I left and the team. I wish the organization the best. And I wish the fans, more than anything, the best because we had a lot of great years together."

Carmelo Says He Never Received Texts from Amare

Carmelo Anthony said Monday night that he never received a text message from Amar'e Stoudemire telling him that he wants Anthony to play alongside him in New York.

"I've read that, that he supposedly texted me," Anthony said of rumors. "I didn't get it. I didn't get that text."

Anthony refuted the report by Yahoo! Sports from mid-January, but didn't say whether he spoke to any members of the Knicks.

George Karl said that he always felt as though Anthony had a good chance to remain with the Nuggets for the entire season.

"I have always felt from the way beginning of the season that the chance of that happening was far greater than all you all thought -- of being with our team the whole year," Karl said. "I just felt that way from the first day of training camp, from September, I've always felt that way. I'm trying to be prepared for anything, but if that happens we can get excited about being a very, very good team."

Anthony says he hasn't spoken to members of Denver's front office in recent days about new developments.

Bynum Misses Practice with Sore Knee

Andrew Bynum missed practice on Monday with a sore left knee.

He sat out the first 24 games of the season while recovering from offseason surgery on his right knee.

"We're hopeful," Lakers head coach Phil Jackson said when asked whether Bynum will play Tuesday against the Rockets. "He says he'll play."

Durant Calls Bosh a "Fake Tough Guy"

Kevin Durant drew a rare technical foul for jawing with Miami's Chris Bosh in the first quarter of their game Sunday. And he wasn't done talking.

When asked about it after the game, Durant had more harsh words for Bosh.

"I was talking to my teammate and he decided he wanted to put his two cents into it. I'm a quiet guy, a laid-back guy, but I'm not going to let nobody talk trash to me. He's on a good team now, so he thinks he can talk a little bit," Durant said.

"There's a lot of fake tough guys in this league and he's one of them," Durant added.

Durant says he was upset because Bosh got involved in his conversation with a teammate. Bosh says Durant was telling James Harden that next time, he should dunk on Bosh. Bosh had fouled Harden on the previous play to prevent a fast-break layup.

"I think he was telling Harden to dunk on me, or dunk the next one," Bosh said before giving a cleaned-up version of the exchange. "I expressed that, 'No, he's not going to dunk that.' And he expressed, 'Yes, he is.' It just kind of went back and forth."

In March 2009, Shaquille O'Neal called Bosh "the RuPaul of big men," — a reference to the famous 1980s drag queen — after the then Toronto Raptors forward complained that officials weren't calling O'Neal's three-second lane violations.

Both Durant and Bosh were called for technical fouls Sunday. It was Bosh's second of the season and the first that will count against Durant, who also had one rescinded earlier this season.

"I'm no punk. I wasn't even talking to him, first off. He decided to butt in and I'm not going to just let that slide, especially in our house," Durant said. "Like I said, he's not one of those guys that I look at and say, 'Oh, he has a rap for talking back to guys or always getting into it.'

"No, he's a nice guy. He's not one of those guys, so I'm not going to let that type of person say something to me like that," he added.

Durant said he considers Bosh "a cool dude" off the floor, but "once I step on the floor, all that stuff goes out the door."

"I don't think it was anything to get a tech over," Bosh said. "It was just talking. He stood his ground, and I respect that."

Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook got his third technical foul of the season for swinging his fist in the air after being whistled for a personal foul against Mario Chalmers in the final minute of the first half. Miami's Dwyane Wade picked up his sixth of the season in the fourth quarter while protesting after Serge Ibaka(notes) blocked his layup attempt.

"All of us, we're all so competitive, and when we get into circumstances in the fourth quarter, there's going to be tough calls on both sides," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.