Drawing from itsnetwork of NBA insiders--including scouts, coaches and front-officepersonnel--Fast Break picked up these bits of chatter from around theleague.
"It's hard toimagine a team in the West that'd be willing to trade for Allen Iverson. WouldSacramento give up Mike Bibby? Would Golden State give up Baron Davis? Thoseare the only possibilities I can think of." ... "The most obviousproblem with the Knicks is their absence of leadership. They want to rebuildwith their young guys, but how are Channing Frye and Eddy Curry going to learnthe right way to do things when they're being exposed to all those bad rolemodels?" ... If [Rockets G.M.] Carroll Dawson decides to retire becausehe's tired of Jeff Van Gundy, I could see Kiki Vandeweghe winding upthere."
SEE DIRK RUN
Since hispersonal manager, Holger Geschwindner, arrived from Germany in early February,Dirk Nowitzki has been learning to run all over again. Having worked withNowitzki since the Mavs forward was 15 years old, Geschwindner, a former memberof the German national team, noticed recently that his client had lapsed into abad habit of running on his toes. "He has to put the heel down first sothat the feet can really roll and not all the pressure is on the tiptoes,"says Geschwindner. It's not surprising that the 7-foot, 254-pound Nowitzki hashad some problems with his gait--his left foot is a size 15 1/2, a half-sizesmaller than his right, and his left leg is slightly shorter too. "We haveto get a better technique in running so that the joints, bones and muscles last10 more years," says Geschwindner.
The other majorchange in Nowitzki has been his ongoing effort to add 13 to 15 pounds of musclethrough weightlifting. The Mavs had sought to beef up Nowitzki during hisrookie year, but Geschwindner wouldn't allow it then for fear that his client'sjoints couldn't handle the strain while he was still growing. "But now he's27, so I guess he won't grow anymore, and everything is stable," saysGeschwindner, who anticipates that Nowitzki will weigh 260 next season."We're trying to get him a little stronger."
3 It was kind ofnice not to hear a peep about Shaq and Kobe last weekend, eh?
2 After watchingNate Robinson miss 13 tries in the final of the slam dunk contest and still winthe event, isn't it obvious why LeBron wants nothing to do with this hopelesslydumbed-down event?
1 If George Shinndoesn't want to go back to New Orleans, he'd better sell his team. A new owner,though, would have far more luck winning the approval of his fellow owners (whoalready allowed Shinn to bail on Charlotte) if he wants to keep the Hornets inOklahoma City or even move them to another city.
•NBA PowerRankings every Friday at SI.com/nba.
RICH PEDRONCELLI/AP (BIBBY)
ANTHONY J. CAUSI/ICON SMI (NOWITZKI)