The statements by the Hornets and Chris Paul indicating that Chris isn't going to be traded anytime soon have not, amazingly, been enough to stop the rumors that CP3 is headed out of New Orleans. At this point, the rumors look more humorous than worrisome. Ken Berger at CBS Sports starts off our day with some very vague rumors:
The Hornets succeeded in only one of their goals Monday: ending the public part of this spectacle. The rest of it, up to and including a possible trade that will extricate Paul from the Hornets while salvaging some semblance of value for the organization, will be dealt with behind closed doors.
"The telltale thing is that Chris Paul won't comment publicly other than what was released about it," said a person familiar with Paul's strategy. "Leon Rose didn't come out and say, 'Chris is happy in New Orleans.' If he was happy, they would've said that. ... The only way they can get close to full value is to say, 'You guys can't make trade demands.' They're orchestrating this thing to likely move him."
Ah, yes, more vaguely and thinly sourced rumors saying that Chris Paul is out. But these are far more reliable, of course, than the ones saying that he was demanding a trade and would be headed Orlando within a few weeks. Since Ken Berger was the guy pushing this story from the beginning, it feels like he's just doubling down on his original rumor.
The Times-Pic, amongst many others, is reporting that the NBA has had enough of this, and has circulated a memo to that effect:
The NBA sent a memorandum Tuesday to all 30 teams reminding them of the league's tampering policy, and laying out steep penalties they would incur if they contact Paul or his representatives without first getting permission from New Orleans, league sources confirmed. If a team violates the league's anti-tampering policy, it could lose draft picks, have the contract of the illegally contacted player voided and be fined as much as $5 million.
Voiding Chris Paul's contract and fining him $5 million? Ouch, that sounds harsh. I'd rather have them fine Leon Rose.
Matt Moore, writing for NBA Fanhouse, has an outstanding piece on Dell Demps. I thoroughly recommend that you read the entire article, but here's a sampling:
He looks like he doesn't have a care in the world. He breezes in and out of conversations, usually laughing or smiling, and generally seems bemused by everything going on around him. And when you speak with him, you get the sense that there's not a thing he considers outside of his range.
There's a lot of good stuff in there about the Spurs' developmental plan, Demps' enthusiasm for the D-League, and conversations about specific players that have gone through the Spurs' system.
Finally, ESPN's Outside the Lines has examined the food safety inspection records of all stadiums in the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB. The Hive does better than most, with only 6% of vendors with critical violations. Sounds like our concessions are safe. But you can go through every arena and see how safe each stadium's food is. The big losers seem to be the fans of the Washington Wizards and Capitals, since the Verizon center had 100% of its vendors flagged for critical health violations.