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These are basketball rumors from two days ago. For the most recent stories click here.

After reading today's Basketball Rumors talk on the InsideHoops basketball forum where hardcore fans hang 24/7 talking hoops.

NBA Rumors for Fri, Feb. 27

InsideHoops NBA rumors updated 4:30 p.m. ET. More NBA rumors stories and other news also appears on the InsideHoops basketball blog.

nba rumors Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving experienced a left shoulder injury during last night’s game at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland vs. the Golden State Warriors. He did not travel with the team to Indianapolis and received additional examination, including an MRI, this morning at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health, the results of which confirmed a left shoulder strain. Irving is now listed as Out for the game against the Pacers tonight. Inside Hoops

Irving was injured during the third quarter Thursday night against the Golden State Warriors in a 110-99 victory. He returned for the fourth quarter but was still experiencing pain after the game. The Cavs held him back today in Cleveland, and his left shoulder was examined as a precautionary measure. Akron Beacon Journal

nba rumors The National Basketball Association today announced a new transparency initiative relating to its officiating program. Beginning March 2 and continuing throughout the 2015 playoffs, the league will provide play-by-play reports regarding all calls and material non-calls that occur in the last two minutes of close games and during entire overtime periods. This new initiative creates a more specific protocol for commenting on the most scrutinized calls in NBA games. Inside Hoops

“Our fans are passionate and have an intense interest in understanding how the rules are applied,” said Mike Bantom, Executive Vice President of Referee Operations. “NBA referees have the most difficult officiating job in sports, with so many split-second decisions in real time. We trust this consistent disclosure will give fans a greater appreciation of the difficulty of the job and a deeper sense of the correct interpretations of the rules of our game.” Inside Hoops

The National Basketball Referee's Association had no involvement in the NBA's decision to make public the league's evaluation of officiating calls in the final two minutes of close games, a union official told Yahoo Sports on Friday. "We did not participate in the elaboration of this process and we cannot evaluate its effect until after it has been implemented," NBRA general counsel Lee Seham told Yahoo Sports in an email on Friday. Yahoo Sports

nba rumors Phil Jackson’s first college scouting trip of the season likely will prove very costly. Jackson probably will face an NBA fine for tampering, according to a source, for a six-word summary of draft prospect D’Angelo Russell. NY Post

League front office types are not permitted to discuss draft-ineligible players such as college underclassmen. NY Post

Knicks president Phil Jackson attended the Ohio State-Nebraska game Thursday night and apparently liked what he saw from the Buckeyes' 6-5 freshman guard D'Angelo Russell. "He's a great-looking kid," Jackson said, according to Cleveland.com. "Great prospect." At 10-46, the Knicks have the worst record in the NBA. They are on track to get a top pick in the draft. The team that finishes with the worst record has a 25 percent chance to land the top pick in the draft lottery. It also is guaranteed a top-four pick. ESPN NY

That is key for the Knicks because many draft experts see four players at the head of the draft class: Russell, Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor, Kentucky freshman Karl-Anthony Towns and Emmanuel Mudiay, a guard who chose to play overseas this season instead of playing his freshman year and Southern Methodist University. ESPN NY

Since the lottery moved to its present format in 1994, the team with (or tied for) the best odds has won three of the 20 lotteries. (Philadelphia took Allen Iverson in 1996; Cleveland selected LeBron James in 2003; Orlando picked Dwight Howard in 2004.) So finishing with the worst record certainly doesn't guarantee you a No. 1 pick. The team with the second-best odds has won the lottery twice since 1994, and the teams with the third- and fifth-best odds have won it four times each. ESPN NY

When the Nets acquired Thaddeus Young last week, coach Lionel Hollins switched to a smaller, quicker lineup. While that decision made sense on several levels, and seems as if it’s going to benefit most of his roster, Hollins basically decided Brook Lopez and Mason Plumlee will not play together anymore. So the two big men are splitting the 48 available minutes at center while surrounded by perimeter threats. NY Post

Beyond sitting out Friday’s game against the Pistons, Jose Calderon is unsure how serious his latest injury is, but the veteran point guard knows he does not want to join Carmelo Anthony in shutting down for the season unless that becomes absolutely necessary. “If there is nothing, they tell me there is nothing that can go wrong, I want to play and be with my team for the rest of the season,” said Calderon, who was still in a walking boot at practice on Thursday at the Palace after leaving the Knicks’ loss the previous night in Boston with what the team is calling a sore left Achilles. NY Daily News

Even Brett Brown had to laugh. After practice Thursday, the 76ers coach was trying to explain the difficulties that newly acquired point guard Isaiah Canaan is going to have running the offense. Brown related how, the night before, Canaan managed to call two plays when just one was required. "It means three guys are going to crash into each other if they actually executed what the visual was," an amused Brown said. "You could see that he's trying to call the right thing and he's trying to please us, but it was just wrong. It was like he had a sentence with a Chinese word, a French word, and Spanish word all in the same sentence. Philadelphia Inquirer

Jamal Crawford: “I have just always, ever since I was young, made those shots that (to) other people are difficult,” he said. “I’m not trying to brag about it, but they’re really not that difficult for me, honestly. “Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don’t, but I’m really comfortable taking them.” LA Daily News Blog

MAIN MORNING NBA RUMORS PAGE STORIES

nba rumors NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released the following statement regarding the passing of Earl Lloyd: “The NBA family has lost one of its patriarchs. Earl Lloyd, the first African-American to play in an NBA game, was as inspirational as he was understated. He was known as a modest gentleman who played the game with skill, class, and pride. His legacy survives in the league he helped integrate, and the entire NBA family will strive to always honor his memory. Our deepest condolences to the Lloyd family.” Inside Hoops

Floyd suited up with the Washington Capitols on October 31, 1950. Charles Cooper and Nat Clifton would join him in the 1950-51 season, an arduous journey during those tumultuous times, but one that Lloyd, a former West Virginia State star, survived all of the drama and won a championship in 1955 with the Syracuse Nationals. Lloyd finished his 10-year playing career with the Detroit Pistons and when he retired he was 43rd on the NBA career scoring list with 4,682 points. NBA.com Blog

The 6-foot-5 forward averaged 8.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 560 regular-season games in nine seasons with Washington, Syracuse and the Detroit Pistons. He missed the 1951-52 season while serving in the U.S. Army. Lloyd played for the Pistons in 1958-60, averaging 8.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists. He also was 22-55 as Detroit's coach in 1971-72 and the first nine games of the 1972-73 season. Detroit Free Press

Detroit became Lloyd’s home, as he remained in the Pistons organization as a scout and then, in the 1971-72 season, its first African-American head coach. That only lasted one unsuccessful season, after which he worked for the city, including a lengthy stint with the city’s board of education. The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame made Lloyd a member in 1993. The court at T.C. Williams, a high school that opened after Lloyd’s childhood in Alexandria, named its basketball court in his honor in 2007. Washington Post

nba rumors And now he’s getting ready to return after a 10-game absence. Biyombo participated in practice Thursday at TD Garden. There’s a small chance he’ll be cleared to play Friday against the Boston Celtics, but more likely his return will come Sunday night against the Magic in Orlando, Fla. Biyombo showed progress in the 13 games he started while Al Jefferson recovered from a groin strain. He had three points/rebounds double-doubles in that span, but Biyombo said those numbers weren’t the best measure of how he can impact a game. Charlotte Observer

Early in the season Biyombo, the No. 7 pick in the 2011 draft, was behind free-agent Jason Maxiell in the rotation. He sat out the first six games and Clifford made blunt comments to the Observer about Biyombo’s inconsistent effort. “He and I have been talking about this for two years now – he’s got to be a more consistent effort, defense and rebounding player,” Clifford said in November, adding Biyombo’s team defense was somewhere between average and below average. Charlotte Observer

“Coach Clifford always says, ‘Play to your strengths and help your teammates play to their strengths,’ ” Biyombo said. “For me, that means set good screens. If that happens either (teammates) are going to be open or I am going to be open and a good percentage will go in." Charlotte Observer

nba rumors The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed forward Michael Beasley to a 10-day contract. Beasley most recently played in the Chinese Basketball Association, signing a one-year deal with the Shanghai Sharks on Oct. 9, 2014. He averaged 27.1 points, 10.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.92 steals in 37 games while shooting 51.3 percent from the floor. His time with the Sharks was highlighted by capturing MVP honors at the 2015 CBA All-Star Game where he came off the bench to score a CBA All-Star Game record 59 points. Inside Hoops

Sacramento Kings guard Darren Collison is scheduled to have a consultation with Dr. William Meyers on Monday at the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia before undergoing surgery on Tuesday to repair a core muscle injury. Collison suffered the injury in the first half of Sacramento’s contest against the Dallas Mavericks on Feb. 5 and has not played since. He is expected to be re-evaluated in three to six weeks. Inside Hoops

nba rumors The deadline for bids for the Atlanta Hawks was Tuesday and several offers have been made. Top price: $800 million. Controlling owner Bruce Levenson announced in September he was putting the NBA team and the operating rights to Philips Arena up for sale in September. Forbes

Although Bloomberg reported the offers were around $900 million, a source with knowledge of the bids said that is not accurate. The source, who traded candor for anonymity, said the $900 million figure includes $112 million of bonds remaining on the original $131 million used to finance the construction of the arena. Forbes

While revenue (about $12 million a year) from Philips Arena is used to pay off the bonds, the bonds should not be part of the purchase price, or enterprise value, because the Hawks and arena are not collateral for the debt. The bonds are recourse to the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority, which owns the arena. Forbes

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