So what did Otis Smith say? Or what did he do? Something happened. Something weird, because just hours after Dwight Howard basically came out and said “Look man, trade me. I’m not feeling like we can work things out. You and I don’t have a good relationship,” the big man is now saying he loves Orlando and doesn’t want to leave. Whereas Chris Paul had made it pretty clear he’s not trying to stay in New Orleans, Howard has been going back and forth for the past few weeks on whether he wants to stay or not. Howard wants more input on personnel decisions (Magic fans: “Oh goodie.”), and one of his first ideas as the league’s only player GM (we’re joking just in case anyone is sarcastically impaired) is signing Chauncey Billups. That’s great, except it sounds like the Clippers are getting Mr. Big Shot. Dwight has to be feeling the pressure, and by “pressure” we mean there are a lot of people out there who criticize Howard for trying too hard to be like Shaq. It just so happens this situation reminds pretty much every basketball fan of O’Neal’s Orlando escape 15 years ago. That whole motive of wanting to win, but wanting to blaze his own trail is likely weighing Howard down, and ESPN reports the sight of Dirk Nowitzki getting his Queen (“We are the chaaaampions!”) on this summer after winning a chip for the only NBA city he’s ever known has the big man contemplating staying now … Can this whole Chris Paul saga just go away now? First it was on. Then it was off. Then it got back on. Then it was off again. Now, league sources are saying that league officials have aggressively re-engaged the Clippers in trade talks in an effort to make a move. It’s obvious what happened. David Stern and co. tried to play hardball, tried to screw the Clippers out of everything. After L.A. turned around and said forget that, the league is now scurrying back in an effort to make some type of deal because let’s face it, if CP has to stay in New Orleans this season, that will get very, very ugly for everyone involved. No one wants that, even Stern. We’re still going off the assumption that he’ll be traded at some point before the season starts, and ESPN reports it could get done as early as today … The 10 “League Pass” teams that you really need to watch this year. Thankfully, our No. 1 team matched an offer sheet yesterday to keep their big man … When was the last time you heard a GM come out and say this: “We are pursuing big deals right now. More than one big deal.” Okay, Mitch, we see how you’re rolling. Kupchak and the Lakers are shooting for the sky right now, and a failed CP deal doesn’t look like it’s stopping them. He tried to clarify the Lamar Odom trade by saying it never would’ve happened had LO not requested to be traded. Weak excuse. Unless there’s something bigger hanging on the horizon, then we still have no clue why they did that particular deal. Saving money is one thing. Giving up Odom to the team that beat you in the playoffs last year for literally almost nothing just doesn’t make sense. Besides that misstep, we think it’s good the Lakers are searching for big deals. Listen, that team has a ton of talent. But sometimes, even the most talented groups have run their course. The Lakers, for all of last season outside of their amazing run to start the second half of the schedule, looked old, sluggish and mentally drained. They looked sick of each other. Sometimes the best coaches get fired or move on. It’s the same way with teams. A change could be exactly what they need to kick start this thing … The Bulls are on the verge of giving Derrick Rose a well-deserved extension worth $94 million over five years. Like anyone expected otherwise? … Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that the Pacers have decided to amnesty James Posey and his $6.9 million contract. Where should he go? … Keep reading to hear why Dwyane Wade promises to be better than ever before …
Dwyane Wade played like the Hulk between during the 2008 Olympic run and the subsquent season. He hasn’t exactly fallen off since, but he hasn’t been able to replicate the ridiculousness he brought to the floor that year. Well here’s some great news for Heat fans: It sounds like Wade has been training in a new, innovative way all summer and is all the way back physically to where he was in ’08. Ed Downs, the founder of TERF Athletic Facility, an elite training ground for personalized sports fitness programs that specialize in core development, should get some credit. He’s the one putting Wade through a new type of workout that doesn’t focus on weights but rather functional strength designed to both limit injuries and get the body working efficiently. Downs says that Wade is testing out better than any athlete he’s ever seen, and that Wade not only decreased his body fat from 4.8 to 3.5 percent, he still added three pounds of muscle up to 231. Eventually, LeBron and Chris Bosh were joining them for workouts. LeBron is at 265 with 5.2 percent body fat, while Bosh came in at 238 while training for more functional lower body strength. Some of the Dime crew was in South Beach recently for the launch of Wade’s Air Jordan Fly Wade 2 and while he didn’t hoop with us when we were down there, he definitely looked to be in tip-top shape. Miami will be scary good if these guys come back physically better than ever … How scary? Pat Riley sold Shane Battier on coming to the Heat because he said this team reminds him of his Showtime Lakers. He sees similarities in the two styles – mainly that they play as many versatile wing players as possible. The Heat want to run a lineup this year with Wade, LeBron, Battier and Mike Miller all at once. Riley said: “I had Magic (Johnson) and (Michael) Cooper and (Byron) Scott and (James Worthy). Basically perimeters that played all different positions. I see Shane and Mike Miller and I see Dwyane and LeBron in almost the same kind of thing. (Spoelstra) has the same opportunity.” We love the comparison, especially at the center spot: Joel Anthony versus Kareem. Riles does have a point about the style of play for Miami though: They want to be anything but conventional … The dudes who beat them in the Finals, Mark Cuban and Dallas, have also had one crazy summer. Whether it’s telling four core players from last year’s team to see themselves out or Cubes bitching like a little girl about certain trades, the Mavs gameplan has been out there for everyone to see: save money, gain flexibility and go balls to the wall next summer. They’ve gotten lucky – we still can’t believe the whole Lamar Odom thing – and are coming away with perhaps not quite equal talent, but at least they have something. In some cases, they actually made out. They just replaced DeShawn Stevenson with Delonte West. And by not bringing back a few of their guys with long contracts, they have money for next summer and are looking more and more like a possible homecoming destination for Deron Williams. It’s still not enough though. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tweeted yesterday that the Mavs are also trying to move Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer to create even more cap space. That would free up around $6.4 million more of the salary cap and would have Dallas sitting in bundles of space … Utah has made Josh Howard a firm offer. He is reviewing and meeting with them this week. According to the team, the Spurs made Howard a firm offer over the weekend as well, and re-signing with the Wizards is still an option … Watch Blake Griffin bang a 60-foot shot from his ass during practice … And what’s up with the Grizzlies obsession over Kansas guards? Yesterday, they acquired Brandon Rush in the O.J. deal, they drafted Josh Selby this summer and also have Xavier Henry on the roster. Somewhere Keith Langford is begging for a shot … We’re out like Jimmy Darmody.
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