Friday Notes and Links from the Association

  • The newest Hall of Fame class will be announced April 7. Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing lead the list of candidates and appear locks to be voted in. Other finalists include Dennis Johnson, Adrian Dantley and Chris Mullin, all of whom were among my 40 finalists for inclusion among the 61 Greatest Players in NBA History.

  • The trade of Jason Kidd to the Dallas Mavericks now has two different snags that may keep it from happening. First, Devean George is refusing to be included. Second, Jerry Stackhouse may have said too much about his team’s plans to circumvent league rules.

  • Kobe Bryant is the latest in a long line of Los Angeles Lakers players to suffer an injury this season. Doctors said Bryant has a torn ligament in his finger. The team is already without Andrew Bynum (knee), Trevor Ariza (foot) and Chris Mihm (heel). Bryant has bowed out of this weekend’s 3-point shootout but is likely to play in the all-star game. He said he wants to put off surgery until after the season and the 2008 Summer Olympics in August. If he can get by with the pain and without causing further damage to his finger, this is a huge relief for the Lakers. Despite being third in the West, L.A. is just 3 games ahead of 9th place Denver in the loaded Western Conference. Any missed time from Bryant could see the Lakers fall out of the playoff race.

  • The rookies/sophomores game is tonight at 9 p.m. In the 8-year history of the game, the rookies have won only twice. The sophomores have won the last five games by an average score of 133-109. Expect that trend to continue this year.

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