Heat team president Pat Riley denies a report from last week indicating that the team proposed a deal that would send Chris Andersen, Norris Cole and Josh McRoberts to the Nets for Brook Lopez, notes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Riley insists the Heat haven’t made any offers to any team, and that while the Heat have had conversations with other clubs, they aren’t active on the market, as Jackson transcribes in a second piece. The executive doesn’t feel the team needs an upgrade to make the playoffs and indicated that he would only commit to salary beyond next season for a star, Jackson adds.
Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:
- Bucks coach Jason Kidd doesn’t believe that Kobe Bryant‘s latest injury will be a career-ending one, Charles F. Gardner of The Journal Sentinel writes. Kidd also spoke about how his own career ended, which he says was on his own terms, Gardner notes. “I would say, yes, in a way I did get to go out on my terms, but I had no gas left in the tank,” Kidd said. “It was an easy call. I got to make the call, but the car had no gas. A lot of times for athletes, we want to be able to go out on our own and not with an injury. You want to play and you want to leave feeling you’ve given everything to the game.“
- Knicks rookie coach Derek Fisher didn’t anticipate how difficult it would be to get his players emotionally ready to compete, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. “Probably what jumps out the most is you still have to work pretty hard to motivate and inspire guys at this level,’’ Fisher said. “Something a guy who came into the league in 1996, that wasn’t required. If you weren’t self-driven and self motivated, you couldn’t get on the floor. As a player for 18 years, my brain worked that way. It’s one area that continues to evolve — find ways to help my guys be more inspired and more motivated.’’
- With the highly touted NBA draft class of 2014 not quite living up to the hype thus far, David Thorpe of ESPN.com (Insider subscription required) looks at a number of rookies who have stood out. These players include Nikola Mirotic (Bulls), Jerami Grant (Sixers), and Elfrid Payton (Magic).
- The Cavs assigned Joe Harris to the Canton Charge, their D-League affiliate, the team announced.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.