Ball Don't Lie - NBA

Each weekday morning, Ball Don't Lie serves up a handful of NBA-related stories to digest with your tagliata di manzo.

Sam Amick, Sacramento Bee: "If Bobby Jackson(notes) picks his wardrobe appropriately today, he'll stand at the Arco Arena podium and formally announce his retirement in a three-piece suit and sneakers. He's leaving behind a 12-year playing career and joining the Kings in a varied capacity that often will involve business attire, but the player in him is far from gone just yet. And if the moment is truly destined to capture the spirit of one of the Kings' most popular players of all time, it will be the pair of Nikes with the cut-off hi-tops. 'You're sad because every player hates for this day to come,' Jackson, 36, said Thursday. 'But also, you look ahead to the future and you see that you can walk away from the game when you wanted to walk away. Everything is intact. My family is happy.'"

Mark Murphy, Boston Herald: "Kevin Garnett's return from knee surgery means [Glen] Davis' prime-time role will be reduced. He's back to being a reserve and sometimes envisions the worst possible result from it. 'It's real difficult to go back, from playing 30 minutes or even 35 on a good night, to playing 12 or 15 on a good night,' Davis said. 'There's a lot of great players on this team.' Surely, he's being hard on himself. Surely, there's more playing time in store. 'I hope so,' he said. As a result, Davis now faces a significant mental challenge. He must accept a smaller role. 'I don't know how to accept that yet,' he said. 'I don't know how to do it yet. It's not as if we've gone over it. Nobody tells me nothing.' In truth, they don't have to. Angst aside, Davis knows this, too."

Jason Quick, The Oregonian: "Another layer of adversity was added to Ime Udoka's(notes) NBA career on Wednesday, when the Trail Blazers informed the Portland native that he would be waived on Thursday in favor of injured rookie Patrick Mills(notes). 'I've been through a lot in my career, and after all I've been through, I kind of thought these times were behind me,' Udoka said. 'But I'm not going to sit around and be depressed. I've worked this hard and put in the work, and I have to be ready for the next opportunity. All I can do is hope one comes up.' Udoka said he is hoping to sign on with another team, and is awaiting word from his agent, Mark Bartelstein, who has been talking to other teams. Udoka said some potential suitors could be Oklahoma City, Denver, Sacramento and Utah."

Shaun Powell, "Everyone wants to be known for a particular distinction, be it defense, scoring, assists, rebounding, whatever. There's something to be said about being the best at what you do. A reputation is formed. A career is enhanced. And then there's DeShawn Stevenson(notes), who'd wear his particular badge of honor if he could, except it might get lost among all the tattoos, which crawl up his neck. 'I think I'm the most hated player in the league,' he said. 'In fact, I know I am.' If a poll were confined to Cleveland, then it'd be unanimous. Folks there don't forget. Just last week, Stevenson and the Wizards made a preseason stop in town and he was heckled before he reached baggage claim. [...] Stevenson is an aggressive player with an edge sharpened during a hard-knock life in Fresno, Calif., and he makes no apologies for that. He won't hesitate to get under someone's skin, if he feels it gives him an advantage. His ritual of running his hand across his face after making a big shot will also annoy some fans and players. 'Sometimes I do things that are kind of crazy,' he admits, 'but that's my thing.'"

Jake Curtis, The Times-Picayune: "A team that vaguely resembled the New Orleans Hornets got beaten down in the second half late Thursday night, losing 126-92 to a group that looked a little like the Golden State Warriors in a preseason game at Oracle Arena. The Hornets were playing without four starters, including All-Stars Chris Paul(notes) and David West(notes). The absence of Paul, who sat out with an upper-respiratory ailment, was particularly noticeable. Without their floor leader, the Hornets seemed rudderless in the second half, committing turnovers in bunches and lacking an offensive spark. 'That was probably the worst half I've seen us play in a long time,' Hornets Coach Byron Scott said, after his team's preseason record fell to 2-5 with one preseason game remaining tonight against the Clippers. 'Mentally I think we are a fragile team. We're mentally weak. We can't be that weak-minded. Chris and David are probably our two toughest-minded players, but that's no excuse for the way we played.'"

Eddie Sefko, The Dallas Morning News: "Shawn Marion and Josh Howard(notes) went through practice Thursday, the first time they've been on the court together in training camp. Whether one or both will play in the preseason finale tonight in Houston remains to be seen. But it was a welcomed sight for the Mavericks, who have not yet had their preferred starting lineup available. 'Today was a beginning and we've got a long road ahead of us - a lot of games,' coach Rick Carlisle said. 'We've got to figure out a formula when that group does finally get on the floor in real games. Today was constructive.' Marion has played just two preseason games and only one in its entirety. He had sat out the last 10 days of practice to let the calf muscle recover from a strain. He said he felt good breaking a good sweat in the scrimmage, in which he and Howard teamed for about half. And he liked prospects for the future."

Ronald Tillery, Memphis Commercial Appeal: "Griz forward Rudy Gay(notes) insisted Wednesday that he isn't consumed by the possibility of signing a contract extension before the Oct. 31 deadline. But Gay's eyes widened when he learned that another member of his 2006 draft class had reached an agreement. Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge(notes) reportedly will receive a five-year deal worth up to $70 million. 'I'm happy for him,' Gay said. 'He's in position to take care of his family for the rest of his life.' Aldridge, taken No. 2 overall, is the third first-round player to sign an extension. His teammate, Brandon Roy(notes), signed a deal that will pay him the maximum allowed, which is predicted to be in excess of $82 million. Toronto gave No. 1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani(notes) a five-year extension worth $50 million. Gay said his representatives have not discussed dollar amounts with the Grizzlies. 'I know my worth,' Gay said. 'But we haven't gotten to that point. I've told my (agent) all I want to do is say 'yes' or 'no.''"

Kate Fagan, "76ers General Manager Ed Stefanski announced today that the team has exercised the third-year contract option for forward-center Marreese Speights(notes) and the fourth-year options for forward Thaddeus Young(notes) and forward-center Jason Smith(notes). Of the extensions, Stefanski said, 'Thaddeus, Jason, and Marreese are there of our young players who have done everything asked of them and contribute to show improvement every time they step out on the court. We are excited about the way they have developed to this point and we are looking forward to them continuing their careers with the Sixers.'"

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