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Yao’s Tired of T-Mac’s Injuries, Wants Team to Move on Without Him?

UPDATE: Yao says the story is B.S., no surprise.

Building an NBA team with Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady is like starting a rotation with Mike Hampton and Carl Pavano. Yao’s constantly been plagued by foot injuries and has missed at least 25 games each of the past three seasons. T-Mac’s got knee, back, and shoulder issues and has been in and out of the lineup the past few seasons. Even when he’s trying to soldier through the pain, he’s often nowhere near full strength leaving us to wonder whether or not he’s doing more harm than good. Instead of playing limited minutes in games, T-Mac’s decided to sit out two weeks to try and let his surgically repaired knee heal. Sounds like it makes sense. Problem is the injuries and missed games are mounting leaving the Rockets wondering if it’s time to move on:

The Rockets are putting a positive spin on this, but Waiting for Tracy is a play that nobody in Houston wants to see anymore — up to and including the big man, Yao Ming.

“They don’t speak,” an extremely plugged-in person tells me. “And Yao wants him out.”

It’s not personal between Yao and McGrady. They like one another. But Yao’s frustration is real. And Yao is not the only person that’s grown tired of McGrady’s self-diagnosis, his up-to-the-last-minute decisions on whether he’ll play or not.

It’s really an unfortunate situation all the way around. As David Aldridge writes in his article, the two like each other — something that’s quite apparent when you see them interacting. It’s just hard to build a team around an unreliable dude. T-Mac had a great prime but now injuries have crushed him. He’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t; play through the pain and his skill is diminished, sit out and he’s only helping by subtraction. I can understand where the Rockets and Yao would just feel like it’s time to push on without him since it’s hard to count on T-Mac. Looks like they’re not the powerhouse everyone was expecting when Artest was acquired though they still can be dangerous.

By the way, this is a bigger story of teammate relationships than T.O./Romo/Witten, but since it’s the Rockets and not the Cowboys, ESPN won’t pay it much mind.

(via Matt Watson at FanHouse)

Eddy Curry Stars in Boner Jams ’09: The Gay Sexual Harassment Story

I’ve never thought much of Eddy Curry on the court for a simple reason: he’s a 7-foot 300-pound monster who can’t grab more than 7 boards a game. Someone have to ‘splain me that one. Off the court, we started to get a taste of the lazy bum when the news was released that he owed the clothing store, Casual Male, $41,000. He’s never lived up to his hype, and now it’s starting to come out (if you believe this allegation) that not only is he not very good in the NBA, he’s also a bad dude. In possibly the first story of its kind, Eddy Curry is being sued for sexual harassment by a male chauffeur who claims Curry owes him money, mistreated him, and was anti-Semitic, for good measure. From the NY Post via Ballhype, some most-read details:

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Sasha Vujacic Whines Chris Paul Is Picking on Him

So the Lakers lost to the Hornets on Tuesday as David West threw up a career game and Chris Paul was his usual stellar self. In addition to balling it up on the court, CP3 did a bang-up job of trash-talking. Paul apparently was in the head of Laker sharpshooter Sasha Vujacic who got distracted and into foul trouble.

Vujacic’s unique resume … now includes being called by Paul a five-letter word that starts with “B.”

That’s what Vujacic said Paul called him late in New Orleans’ victory over the Lakers on Tuesday night.

For yelling back at Paul – even though Vujacic insisted all he said was: “What did you say?!” – Vujacic got a technical foul from referee Joey Crawford.

Vujacic committed five fouls in 10 and a half minutes of action. Not exactly an exemplary game for “The Machine,” who clearly let CP3 get to him. The worst part of this story might be just what one of the commenters said — if Vujacic is bringing it up to the press, he must really be what Paul is calling him. Hey, nobody said it was all peaches out there on the court and I’ve always said it’s best to let your game do the talking. Maybe Vujacic learned the lesson.

Sacramento Kings Prank Rookie Jason Thompson for His Bagel Negligence

Rookie hazing shouldn’t be something too new to you if you’re gracing these pages. The People’s Princess, Joakim Noah, was chastised as a rookie for screwing up his Krispy Kreme duty. Recently, the Phillies put on one of the all-time great pranks when they told Kyle Kendrick he had been traded to Japan. This one won’t wow you by any means, but it’s still fun to see the little kid environment created by a bunch of pro basketball players. Check out what the Sacramento Kings veterans did to rookie Jason Thompson:

The popcorn in the car wouldn’t have been my choice; getting every kernel out is such a hassle. I guarantee he’ll still be picking pieces of popcorn out of the car next year. They did however ensure Thompson won’t forget the bagels next time.

Via Jimmy Traina’s Extra Mustard and Tom Ziller’s Sactown Royalty.

Video: LeBron James Traveling Call Against Wizards Costs Cavs

Much like that Jazz/Mavs game not long ago where Dirk was ejected for menial fouls, the refs must have had something on this game for the Wizards to beat the Cavs. I mean how often does a superstar, matter of fact, the superstar in the league, get called for traveling in the final minute of a game? Well, it happened to the Cavs when LeBron James was whistled for doing the bunny hop in the carrot patch on this play with his team down two to the Wizards:

Even though it was a blatant travel, it’s not too different from what many stars get away with on a nightly basis. It’s not much different from what LeBron got away with when the Cavs beat the Wizards in six in the playoffs a few years ago. Better to have it happen now than in May or June, I guess. I’m still floored the refs even called it.

(Thanks to The Association crew for the vid)

Video: Pau Gasol Shows Off the Dribbling Skills, Goes Between the Legs

The Lakers handled the Jazz pretty well on Friday night, beating them 113-100. Pau Gasol had 21 points giving him 10,001 in his career, making him the 4th European-born player to crack that mark. That may have been an impressive milestone to break, but Pau’s truly impressive feat was the fastbreak he led in the final minutes. Check out Pau harnessing his inner point guard:

Maybe just being in a Laker jersey Pau felt he had to do his best Shaq impression. I’d say those few seconds on the court perfectly sum up Pau’s game: he’s pretty well-rounded for a big man.

Khloe Kardashian and Rashad McCants Now Dating?

Well, I had a pretty good idea that Rashad McCants wasn’t going to grace the pages of LBS for his play on the court, so I guess this was his way of making himself relevant. The National Ledger passes on a report from life & style weekly saying the younger sister of Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, is dating Timberwolves swingman Rashad McCants.

The report claims, “Khloe Kardashian has scored a basketball player boyfriend! Life & Style has learned exclusively that she’s dating Minnesota Timberwolves guard Rashad McCants. Reggie Bush, who dates Khloe’s big sis Kim, introduced the couple, both 24, in the fall.

“They’re getting serious,” says an insider close to Khloe. “Rashad knows that the Kardashians are incredibly close; if you date one member, you basically date them all. But he’s not worried — he loves Khloe and can’t wait to get to know the whole family better!”

I dunno about you, but I have a hard time being convinced that Khloe came from the same gene pool as Kim. Just my thoughts on the matter. And if I were a player on the T-Wolves, I’d much rather go after a no-name girl that’s hot than the lesser of the three Kardashian sisters. He could do much better.