NBA notebook: Dwight Howard cleared for more practice with Lakers
BY Wire reports
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
10/10/12 at 3:28 AM
Dwight Howard has been cleared for limited five-on-five scrimmages with the Los Angeles Lakers in his latest step back from offseason surgery.
Howard won't play in the Lakers' next preseason game Wednesday night against Portland in Ontario, Calif.
Howard was cleared Tuesday for limited participation in full-court scrimmages with contact. He had participated in every other aspect of the Lakers' practices during training camp except full-court contact.
The six-time All-Star center had surgery on his back last spring.
Howard hasn't projected a date for his Lakers debut, but is hopeful he can participate in a preseason game. After Wednesday's visit from the Trail Blazers, the Lakers will have six more exhibitions before their season opener Oct. 30 against Dallas.
Wade announces shoe deal with Li-Ning: Two-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade is signing with Chinese sportswear provider Li-Ning, which is giving the Miami Heat guard his own brand within the company along with plenty of creative and strategic input.
The partnership will be announced Wednesday in Beijing, where Li-Ning is headquartered and where the Heat are visiting for the NBA China Games tour.
Wade told The Associated Press that he expects the Li-Ning deal to continue through at least the remainder of his playing career. Wade wore Converse for his first six seasons, then Jordan Brand for the past three years.
Wade's debut in Li-Ning sneakers is expected Thursday, when the Heat play a preseason game in Beijing against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Timberwolves' Kirilenko excited to be back in NBA: New Timberwolves forward Andrei Kirilenko is back in the NBA after a season away and apparently feeling like he is back home, even though he spent his first decade in the league in Utah, not Minnesota.
"I really feel like I belong here," he said.
Kirilenko once felt like that with the Jazz, after he parlayed an All-Star Game appearance at age 23 into an $86 million contract that was supposed to make him the franchise's new face after John Stockton and Karl Malone retired.
But that was before Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams blossomed in the team's offense, before Kirilenko played out the final years of that six-year deal with a whopping salary but a diminished role.
Dwyane Wade arrives at the airport in Beijing on Monday. The Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Clippers will play two preseason games in China, Thursday in Beijing and Sunday in Shanghai. Osports/AP