Ball Don't Lie - NBA

On typical weekday morning, Ball Don't Lie serves up a handful of NBA-related stories to digest with your triscuits and smoked penguin.

Steve Galluzzo, Palisadian-Post: "'The Big Ethanol,' he joked after witnessing the new MicroFueler in action last Thursday in Pacific Palisades. ‘I heard about this through a friend of a friend and the more I found out about it, the more I knew I wanted to get involved and learn how it works. I asked 'If we can take waste and do something good with it--show me!' And they did.' Yes, O'Neal has officially gone green as one of the first investors in the revolutionary in-home micro-refinery system that turns organic waste into a high-performance ethanol fuel for cars. O'Neal was unable to attend the initial public introduction July 30 but wanted to appear in person for the ‘encore' at Chris Ursitti's house in the Alphabet streets."

Jerry Zgoda, Star Tribune: "This deal, too, is all about cost saving and salary-cap stuff. Both players have expiring salaries, but the Wolves will save nearly $1.4 million by waiving Blount and his $7.96 million contract rather than dump Richardson's $9.35 million contract. By making this deal, it's clear Kahn never intended having Richardson, who likely would have been a runaway gunner in his contract year, on this season's team. Kahn still could deal Blount's contract in another deal, but it seems like waiving him outright is more likely."

Philadelphia Daily News: "The 7-1 Brezec, who entered the league with the Indiana Pacers as a first-round draft choice in 2000 (No. 27 overall), is the fifth big man on the current roster, joining Dalembert, Elton Brand(notes), Marreese Speights(notes) and Jason Smith(notes). The signing was first reported last week in the Daily News. ‘We feel that Primoz will provide us with additional size and depth in the front court, but just as beneficial is the wealth of experience he brings to the team not only on the NBA level, but internationally as well,' Sixers president/general manager Ed Stefanski said in a statement."

Mark Murphy, Boston Herald: "He last talked with a member of the Celtics organization last month while attending ex-teammate Kendrick Perkins'(notes) wedding in Houston. Though his chances of re-signing with the Celtics slimmed the moment the team didn't extend a qualifying offer on June 30, Powe still tried to plead his case with Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca. ‘I talked to him for 45 minutes," said Powe, ‘but he said they weren't going to do nothing. It was quite a shock to me, but he said they didn't have the extra money to sign me, and (Pagliuca) said that he would have to pay out of his own pocket for them to wait on me. I understood what he was saying, because it was the same thing I heard from Danny (Ainge). I told Danny that I would take the one-year deal, but that was it. After (talking to Pagliuca), I didn't call them no more.'"

Mark Murphy, Boston Herald: "Ainge said yesterday that there was considerable discussion within the front office about whether to make Powe a qualifying offer. The executive director of basketball operations also said that he raised the possibility of signing Powe to a veteran's minimum two-year contract with a team option in the second year - the very deal Powe just signed with Cleveland - but that the forward rejected the idea."

Fred Kerber, New York Post: "The Knicks have appeal, especially with the whole New York package, Wade claimed. But don't discount the Nets -- at least for other free agents. ‘It's a good organization,' Wade said of New Jersey. ‘It's a class organization and when the time is right, they're going to go get the players they need to get. I think people around the league see that. They've had success, especially when J. Kidd was here ... so everyone knows this organization has the want to be great. It's just about if they get the players. They've got some now. Devin Harris(notes) is a great, great star. He's a centerpiece.'"

China Daily: "Houston Rockets All-star center Yao Ming(notes) has resumed light training for the first time since surgery on his injured left foot, according to an entry on his Facebook page. Yao did some upper body exercises but he is still walking with a stick, which he will require until the end of the month."

Fred Kerber, New York Post: ‘[Courtney Lee]'s(notes) hurting,' Howard, who spoke with Lee his ex-teammate on Wednesday, said today at a movie shoot at the IZOD Center. ‘He's not just upset, he's hurting.' Now he knows how Nets fans feel. Howard claimed that Lee was happy and content as a rookie in Orlando. Why not? He went to the Finals. The two, who became good friends, spoke just after the Finals about what they needed to do to get back and win a title. Then Lee got a draft night call. ‘He was ready to get back in the gym and work on it and he got traded so he's hurting,' said Howard."

Michael Wallace, Miami Herald: "Raymond Brothers, Tinsley's agent, said Thursday he is scheduled to resume negotiations with Riley next week regarding a deal that could land Tinsley in Miami. Riley doesn't seem to be so certain. Brothers said he spoke by phone with Riley earlier this week, when Riley was in Hawaii, and the two agreed to resume talks after the weekend. Riley was in Hawaii as late as Wednesday, but was back at his offseason home in Southern California on Thursday. But Riley said through a team spokesman Thursday evening that no formal talks were planned and a Tinsley signing was not imminent. ‘I talked to Pat when he was out there. There's still interest on both sides,' Brothers said. ‘We'll see what happens. But we'll talk again.'"

Robert J. Lopez, Los Angeles Times. "Two teams of deputies fanned out across Los Angeles County early Thursday morning, hoping to find a reputed gang member involved in the violence that broke out in June after the Lakers won the NBA championship. In the end, three alleged gang members were arrested on suspicion of parole violations unrelated to the nighttime unrest outside Staples Center, where crowds looted several stores, smashed car windows and vandalized police cars and MTA buses, authorities said."

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