February 24, 2012; Orlando FL, USA; NBA TV host Vince Cellini talks with basketball hall of fame 2012 finalist Reggie Miller during the NBA Hall of Fame press conference at the Hilton Orlando. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

NBA Roundhouse: 2012 Hall of Fame, Lin's Knee Controversy and the Dwight Howard Nightmare

The Basketball Hall of Fame announced the 12 newest members to the Class of 2012 while in Louisiana for the Final Four. The full list is as follows:

  • Reggie Miller — 5 time NBA and one of the greatest clutch scorers
  • Don Nelson — The Coach with the most wins in NBA history with a total of well over 1300 games
  • Ralph Sampson — 3 time National College Player of the Year and NBA All Star
  • Katrina McClain —  2 time Olympic gold medalist
  • Hank Nichols — Acclaimed basketball official and coordinator Hank Nichols
  • Jamaal Wilkes — Former college and NBA star who spent his entire career under Coach Hofer John and in California
  • The All-American Red Head — The first professional women’s basketball team; they were the 1st version of the Harlem Globetrotters and played more than 200 games per season and won 70% of them.

The rest of the list was announced during the All Star Games as goes as follows: Mel Davis from the American Basketball Association, Don Barksdale from the Early African American Pioneers Committee, Lidia Alexeeva from the Contributor Direct Election Committee, Chet Walker from the Veterans Committee and Phil Knight Contributor Direct Election Committee. John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame said at the press conference that, “We are extremely honored to welcome this prestigious class of players, coaches, officials, teams and pioneers from the game of basketball into the Hall of Fame. This group represents a spectrum of individuals who made their mark in history and we look forward to honoring them in September for their contributions.”

Jeremy Lin’s Controversial Knee

Jeremy Lin is out for the year, but the Knicks failed to tell season ticket holders that until they had already purchased playoff tickets. (Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE)

Jeremy Lin’s surgery on his left knee was a success. He underwent surgery for a small chronic meniscus tear. He was in such good spirits that he took to twitter to post a picture of himself in the hospital with the following message:

“Praise God for a successful surgery…road to recovery! Lets goo. Much love to the fans for your support and kind words.”

While Lin is staying focused on his recovery which will take about 6 weeks, there is trouble surrounding his surgery and the timing of the announcement from the Knicks that he would be out.

Accusations have been made that the Knicks held off on the announcement that their star was having season ending surgery to make sure they got past the deadline for season ticket holders to buy all rounds of the playoffs.

Lin’s Cinderella story has made him and the Knicks a household name and a major worldwide story. This also drove up the Knicks struggling ticket sales. Monday’s edition of the New York Daily News, writer Frank Isola said medical test were done early in the week and showed Lin’s injury.

But the Knicks waited because they knew it would affect ticket sales if Lin was M.I.A. for the playoffs.

“It was two days before the deadline when Lin and the Knicks’ medical staff learned that the second-year point guard/cash cow was suffering from a torn meniscus in his left knee and that he wouldn’t be jumping for joy anytime soon.” Isola wrote.

As expected the Knicks and Madison Square Garden are vehemently denying these accusations. They are even going as far and saying that this is a “campaign of intimidation and extortion.” by publisher Mort Zuckerman to have a merger between the operations of two local newspapers. Madison Square Garden also said that this is a “completely inaccurate and a malicious attack.” But the Editor In Chief of the Daily News Colin Myler said “As always, we will continue to report in a far and independent editorial manner.” But Myler had no comment on the extortion accusations.


Dwight Howard is showing his true colors in Orlando's losing ways, calling for coach Stan Van Gundy's head on a stake.(Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE)

In a not so surprising move, Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic has been asking to be fired. In an even more not so surprising move he is denying that this has ever come up. Coach Stan Van Grundy said that he has been told by high ranking officials that Howard was previously asking to be fired. “I know he has,” Van Grundy had told reporters Thursday.

“That’s just the way it is. Again, I’ve been dealing with that all year. It’s not anything real bothersome. You go out and do your job.”

As easy as that sounds, it has been pretty rare and almost impossible with Howard this year. The should I stay or should I go drama surrounding Howard has been a distraction all season for the Magic. After securing Howard for at least another season right at the trade deadline last month, this has brought on another dent to the saga.

But Howard is obviously denying reports that he is asking to be dismissed.

“Whatever happens at the end of the season is not under my control,” Howard told reporters. “I am a player for the Magic. I am not the GM. I am not (owner) Rich DeVos I am not (Magic CEO) Alex Martins. So that’s not my job. So you guys should stop … every other week … trying to find something, because there’s nothing. I haven’t said anything to anybody about anything. Our main concern is winning. So all the other stuff should stop.”

But Van Gundy is sticking to his story that Howard wished he hadn’t put his name on the dotted line. He was asked how sure are these reports and he replied, “people right in our management, right from the top” No matter how reliable these sources are from Van Grundy or if Howard is indeed telling the truth the best way to put all of this has been from reserve guard Ish Smith.

“My mom loves soap operas, so for me to be a part of one is pretty special,” he joked. “From the outside I think it looks like (a soap opera), but when you’re on the inside I think it’s no effect on us. I think defensively the last three or four games has been what’s been hurting us. I don’t think anything off the court is causing us to lose these games.”

King Kevin Love Carries Wolves

Kevin Love has put the Timberwolves on his back and carried them past injuries to basically the entire roster. (Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE)

If heavy is the head that wears the crown, wearing the cape too makes it that much harder. And Wolves Kevin Love wears all that and then some. Love has been doing it all this season including leading the league in minutes played and carrying the Timberwolves back to relevance.

But over the last month, many of his best teammates have gone down with injuries: Ricky Rubio has been out since March 9 with a torn ACL in his left knee, Nikola Pekovic has been strictly limited by bone spurs in his right ankle and an illness, J.J. Barea has missed a lot of time with a variety of ailments, Michael Beasley has been out six of the last eight games with a sprained toe on his left foot and Luke Ridnour is out indefinitely with sprained right ankle and that has forced him to carry even more of the load every night. While his numbers are still phenomenal the toll on Love is starting to become obvious.

“It’s tough to try and play Superman every night,” an exhausted Love said after getting 29 points and 12 rebounds in 43 minutes Wednesday night in their loss to Golden State.

Because Love has been one of the only consistencies, Coach Rick Adelman has been between a rock and a hard place to sit him on the bench while the Wolves chase down a playoff spot. Love had an enormous March, averaging more than 30 points and just about 14 rebounds per game and becoming the first player in NBA history to lead the league in scoring, rebounding and 3 pointers for an entire month.

Unfortunately the Wolves have lost 12 of the last 16 games since Rubio went down, including four in a row to disappear from contention in the West. And even more disappointing is Love’s legs might be fading right with those playoff hopes.

“I don’t like to use that as an excuse, but I can feel it,” Love said. “My body and my legs, especially on my shot, they aren’t under me right now. With that said, that’s not an excuse on the defensive end for every single one of us.”

While Love is tiring much easier now and days he is not much of a complainer, “I’ve felt my whole career I’ve been fighting an uphill battle, whether it’s been with (the media), coaches or players, system, no matter what. I like that. I embrace that,” Love said of the responsibility.

Rose Returns

In a true Easter Miracle or not, Derrick Rose from the Chicago Bulls returned Sunday after missing 12 straight games. Rose has been out with a strained right groin and has been sidelined 22 times this season because of a variety of injuries including his back and toe. “What he’s done in the past whenever he’s missed time, he’s always come back very strong and picked things up very quickly, so he’ll be OK.” Coach Tom Thibodeau said. Rose last played on March 13 he scored 32 points and lead the Bulls to a 104-99 victory over the Knicks. Despite his and others injuries the Bulls have the best record in the NBA with 43-14. While Rose’s return was joyous for Chicago’s fans and teammates, his parade was rained on in an ironic twist of fate by the Knicks and Carmelo Anthony when he hit a 3 pointer with 8.2 seconds left and beat the Bulls 100-99 in overtime.

Washington’s Lottery Wizard

In a ridiculously stupid (or brilliant) move, Washington Wizards rookie Chris Singleton says it was well worth it to buy $10,000 worth of tickets for last week’s Mega Millions lottery he even said it was “either that or blowing it in the clubs.” That last comment is where the stupid comes in if you were wondering. Singleton didn’t win a share of the record breaking top prize, but he said Monday that he did win some money and that is where the brilliant comes, again if you were wondering. As For how much he won he’s not sure because he hasn’t gone through all of his tickets yet.

Singleton raised eyebrows last week when he tweeted:

He maintains he actually spent the $10,000 for the lottery that offered a $640 million prize. He had to go to various stores because no individual store could sell that many at once.

Other News and Notables

  • Scoring 30+ points in a game is wonderful, scoring 113 points in a game is crazy dream. And in that case Mohammad El Akkari is the perfect example of living a dream. He led Moutahed to a 173-141 victory over Bejjeh in a Division A league game on Tuesday. He scored 32 3 pointers in 59 attempts and was 40-for 69 overall from the floor and one free throw. He now joins Wilt Chamberlain in the elite 100+ points club. You may remember when Chamberlain played amazingly all 48 minutes in the Philadelphia Warrior’s 169-147 win over the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962. He shot 36 of 63 from the floor and 28 of 32 from the free-throw line. The 27-year-old Akkari entered the game averaging only 7.6 points and 19.2 minutes of playing time in 23 games this season. “I think it’s all a result of my practice,” Akkari said. “I also want to thank my coach for letting me play that long and all my teammates for helping.” If only NBA players could be that gracious about any game, much less something this big. Coach Ahmad Fadel said he always thought Akkari had the potential for such a performance. “He’s a phenomenal but a very underrated shooter. He puts in a lot of hard work in practice,” Fadel said. “I am not surprised.”
  • Charlotte Bobcats Eduardo Najera didn’t suffer any brain trauma after taking an accidental elbow to the head from Milwaukee Buck’s John Brockman during Friday night’s 95-90 loss. Najera had a CT scan at a hospital that showed he had suffered a fractured frontal bone. He accompanied his teammates on a flight back to Charlotte on Saturday morning after leaving the hospital. After the game, Bobcats coach Paul Silas called the injury “bad, real bad.” Najera is not expected to play when the Bobcats host the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night.

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