Marc J. Spears

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Marc Spears covers the NBA for Yahoo! Sports. He previously has written for the Boston Globe and Denver Post.

  • Nothing exciting about Andrew Wiggins except his game

    Andrew Wiggins was speaking to the media recently when he noticed fellow Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Zach LaVine eavesdropping. One reporter took the opportunity to ask Wiggins what he thought about LaVine as a player.

    "I'm not sure about that kid," Wiggins said.

    It was a joke – actually a comedic outburst by Wiggins' standards. Wiggins typically prefers to keep his responses guarded, short and spoken quietly. He was the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA draft and is the leading candidate to win this season's Rookie of the Year award, but keeps a small, close group of family, friends and teammates around him that he doesn't expect to expand anytime soon.

    "I just keep to myself," Wiggins said. "I matured at a young age. If someone wasn't in my life before, they don't need to be in my life now. …I am cool with people around me, but I am not open to new friends."

    Wiggins, who highlights a group of first- and second-year NBA players taking part in the Rising Stars Challenge in New York on

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  • NBA Power Rankings: Clippers facing rough patch

    Atlanta 1. Atlanta Hawks (Record: 42-10; last week: 1): Ex-Pistons star Chauncey Billups said the Hawks remind him of Detroit’s 2004 NBA champions because of their unselfish play and tough defense.


    Golden State2. Golden State Warriors (Record: 40-9; last week: 2): All-Star guard Klay Thompson said it doesn’t matter to him whether he is the replacement starter for the injured Kobe Bryant.


    Memphis 3. Memphis Grizzlies (Record: 38-13; last week: 3) With Portland’s Damian Lillard being the All-Star replacement for the injured Blake Griffin, Memphis guard Mike Conley is now the biggest snub.


    Houston4. Houston Rockets (Record: 35-16; last week: 5): It might be tough for Golden State coach Steve Kerr, who’s coaching the West All-Stars, to pass on NBA leading scorer James Harden as Bryant’s replacement in the starting lineup.


    Cleveland5. Cleveland Cavaliers (Record: 32-21; last week: 6): Perhaps Kevin Love finally had a breakthrough game Sunday with a season-high 32 points against the Lakers.


    Toronto6. Toronto Raptors (Record:

    Read More »from NBA Power Rankings: Clippers facing rough patch
  • Blake Griffin to have surgery on elbow; Damian Lillard replaces him on All-Star team

    Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin will undergo surgery on Monday to remove a staph infection in his right elbow, the team announced.

    Griffin will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break and will miss the All-Star Game on Feb. 15 in New York. He is averaging 22.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists this season.

    The Clippers did not give a specific timetable for Griffin's return, but estimates for similar procedures could have him sidelined anywhere from two to six weeks.

    "It could be a while," Clippers coach Doc Rivers told reporters prior to Sunday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    Spencer Hawes started in Griffin's place Sunday.

    Griffin had problems with bursitis in the same elbow and most recently had it drained while the team was in New York last week. The infection was discovered Saturday after Griffin had his swollen elbow examined at an Oklahoma City hospital.

    NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced Sunday that Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard will

    Read More »from Blake Griffin to have surgery on elbow; Damian Lillard replaces him on All-Star team
  • Source: Kings in 'serious' talks with George Karl about coaching position

    The Sacramento Kings are in “serious back-and-forth” discussions with former NBA head coach George Karl about their coaching position, a source told Yahoo Sports on Saturday.

    The Kings and Karl’s representatives are expected to continue discussions. Sacramento (17-31) has lost 10 of its last 11 games and 18 of 24 since firing coach Michael Malone in mid-December. If Karl, 63, were hired, he would replace interim head coach Tyrone Corbin.

    George Karl has 1,131 NBA coaching victories. (USAT)George Karl has 1,131 NBA coaching victories. (USAT) Karl has professed to the Kings that he would concentrate solely on coaching and not front-office moves, a source said. He has also told the Kings that he is a huge fan of All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins.

    The Kings do have some concern that Karl could get interest from the Orlando Magic for their coaching opening as well, a source said.

    Karl has a 1,131-756 record as an NBA head coach and ranks sixth all time in coaching victories. Karl and Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro worked together with the Denver Nuggets, whom Karl began coaching in

    Read More »from Source: Kings in 'serious' talks with George Karl about coaching position
  • Amar'e Stoudemire: I'll decide during All-Star break whether to ask Knicks for buyout

    Amar'e Stoudemire plans to use the All-Star break to decide whether to ask the New York Knicks for a contract buyout that could free him to potentially sign with a playoff contender.

    "It's not an easy decision to make," Stoudemire told Yahoo Sports. "Over time, we will see how things pan out. You give yourself a break during the All-Star break. You think about it with your family. …That will give me a good solid week on how to weigh out the rest of the season."

    Stoudemire, who hopes to return to the court on Friday against the Brooklyn Nets after being sidelined with a sprained right ankle, is in the final year of a five-year, $100 million contract. With Stoudemire making $23.4 million this season, it is virtually impossible for the Knicks to trade him before the Feb. 19 deadline.

    The Knicks have the NBA's second-worst record at 10-39, but have played better of late.

    "All possibilities at this point are still open," Stoudemire said of a possible buyout. "The door is still open for

    Read More »from Amar'e Stoudemire: I'll decide during All-Star break whether to ask Knicks for buyout
  • Nick Collison signs two-year extension with Thunder

    The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed forward Nick Collison to a two-year contract extension that will pay him close to $8 million, a source told Yahoo Sports.

    The Thunder had announced on Tuesday morning that Collison was signed to a multi-year extension. Collison, the longest-tenured member of the Thunder, is averaging 3.8 points and 3.4 rebounds as a reserve in 16 minutes per game this season.

    Collison is making $2.2 million in the final year of his contract with Oklahoma City. The 11-year veteran was selected with the 12th overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft by the Seattle SuperSonics, who are now the Thunder.

    “It’s been a great professional experience since the day I arrived,” Collison said in a statement. “I’m proud of what we have built together and I am grateful to be able to stay with the club and continue to work together.”

    More NBA coverage:

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  • NBA Power Rankings: Red-hot Hawks facing some serious tests

    Atlanta 1. Atlanta Hawks (Record: 40-8; last week: 1): Atlanta was 17-0 in January and has won 19 straight games, but next are games against New Orleans, Washington, Golden State and Memphis.


    Golden State 2. Golden State Warriors (Record: 37-8; last week: 2): The Warriors visit the Hawks on Friday for what should be a dynamite matchup.


    Memphis 3. Memphis Grizzlies (Record: 35-12; last week: 3) Even with six straight wins and nine of 10 overall, the Grizzlies are still three games behind the Warriors for the top spot in the West.


    Los Angeles 4. Los Angeles Clippers (Record: 33-15; last week: 5): Western Conference All-Star point guard Chris Paul is averaging 20.6 points in his last five games while shooting 55.4 percent from the field.


    Houston 5. Houston Rockets (Record: 33-15; last week: 4): The Rockets are surprisingly 11-5 without center Dwight Howard this season. He is out again indefinitely with a right knee injury.


    Cleveland 6. Cleveland Cavaliers (Record: 29-20; last week: 10): The Cavaliers have won 10 straight games,

    Read More »from NBA Power Rankings: Red-hot Hawks facing some serious tests
  • Rajon Rondo out indefinitely with facial fractures

    Dallas Mavericks point guard Rajon Rondo is out indefinitely with an orbital fracture to his left eye and a nasal fracture.

    Rondo, 28, suffered the injury during a win over the Orlando Magic on Jan. 31 after the knee of teammate Richard Jefferson hit Rondo’s face as the point guard was on the ground.

    Rondo will miss Monday night's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves and will not travel with the team to road games this week against the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings as he undergoes additional testing and evaluation.

    He is averaging 9.2 points, 6.5 assists and five rebounds in 21 games with Dallas after being acquired via trade from the Boston Celtics.

    More NBA coverage:

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  • DeMarcus Cousins added to West All-Star team

    Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) earned his first All-Star honor. (USAT)Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) earned his first All-Star honor. (USAT)NBA commissioner Adam Silver chose Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins to replace injured Western Conference All-Star guard Kobe Bryant for the All-Star Game on Feb. 15 in New York.

    It is Cousins’ first All-Star selection, and he is the first Kings player to earn the honor since 2004. The fifth-year player ranks fifth in the NBA in scoring at 23.8 points per game and third in rebounding at 12.3 per game. Cousins, 24, was selected over Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, Memphis guard Mike Conley and Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard.

    The Los Angeles Lakers recently lost Bryant for the remainder of the season because of shoulder surgery. Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who earned the right to coach the West squad because the Warriors clinched the best record in the conference through games played Feb. 1, will determine who replaces Bryant in the starting lineup. Likely candidates include Rockets guard James Harden, Warriors guard Klay Thompson and Oklahoma City

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  • Blazers guard Damian Lillard leads list of All-Star snubs

    Damian Lillard scored a career-high 43 points in a road win against the San Antonio Spurs this season. The Portland Trail Blazers guard also is averaging 21.8 points, 6.2 assists and 4.6 rebounds playing alongside All-Star reserve LaMarcus Aldridge as the Blazers are tied for the Western Conference’s third-best record at 32-14.

    But that wasn’t enough to get Lillard to New York for the Feb. 15 All-Star Game as he was one of the most notable snubs after the All-Star reserves were announced Thursday.

    When contacted via text about not making the All-Star team, Lillard told Yahoo Sports: “No comment.”

    Blazers guard Damian Lillard has a legitimate All-Star case. (USAT)Blazers guard Damian Lillard has a legitimate All-Star case. (USAT)The guards the Western Conference coaches selected as reserves were the Houston Rockets’ James Harden, the Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul. The starting All-Star guards in the West, voted in by the fans, were Golden State’s Stephen Curry and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, who will miss the game

    Read More »from Blazers guard Damian Lillard leads list of All-Star snubs

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