Let's round up a few of Monday's odds and ends from around the Association….
- Carmelo Anthony told reporters, including Marc Berman of the New York Post, that he's happy for Mike D'Antoni and that he and the former Knicks coach had a "good relationship."
- Brian Musburger, the agent for Phil Jackson, said he and his client were indeed "stunned" by the Lakers' hiring of D'Antoni: "Not so much with the decision the Lakers made, because Phil had no hold on the job. But we are stunned with the way Phil learned of it" (Sulia link via Kevin Ding of the O.C. Register).
- Following up on the Sixers' latest update on Andrew Bynum, Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal (Sulia link) points to Bynum's health as one reason why the Cavaliers didn't get far in trade negotiations for the big man this past summer.
- In his Morning Tip piece at NBA.com, TNT's David Aldridge discusses the Lakers' coaching hire, Keyon Dooling's decision to retire, and Mickey Loomis' role with the Hornets.
- DeMar DeRozan is hoping to help turn the Raptors into a team that will be attractive to players in free agency, as he tells Bill Ingram of HoopsWorld.
- NBA veteran Marcus Banks, who last played for the Raptors in 2010/11, has agreed to terms with Panathinaikos, according to a report passed along by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.
This year's later-than-usual trade deadline means we shouldn't expect the same amount of February player movement we'd normally see. Still, flipping the calendar page from to January to February means we're that much closer to seeing a few deals go down. While we wait to see where Dwight Howard, Chris Kaman, and the rest of this year's trade candidates land, let's round up today's odds and ends from around the league:
- Asked about his future in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, Dirk Nowitzki said he plans to play "at least two more years" in the NBA (hat tip to BallinEurope.com). I wouldn't read too much into that statement — even when Dirk's current contract with the Mavericks expires in 2014, he'll be just 36. I'd be surprised to see him retire at that point, barring a major injury or drop-off in the next couple seasons.
- Joakim Noah admitted to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune that the pressure he felt after signing a $60MM contract extension with the Bulls contributed to his struggles early this season.
- The Heat have kept their expectations for the Eddy Curry experiment in check, and still may look to add another center, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sentinel. Their first choice is presumably Joel Przybilla, who will reportedly decide between the Heat and Bulls this week.
- Despite the team's struggles this season, president Ernie Grunfeld doesn't intend to abandon the Wizards' long-term strategy, as he tells Michael Lee of the Washington Post.
- Chris Paul's departure has left something of a leadership void in New Orleans, writes Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
- Marcus Banks has officially joined the D-League's Idaho Stampede, tweets Scott Schroeder of Ridiculous Upside. The eight-year NBA veteran signed with the D-League last week.