Shootaround: Just another team

 Vogel: I never said Heat were 'just another team'

There is nothing like some media-manufactured words to get the blood boiling. Especially when the supposed perpetrator and poster of that bulleting board material did not actually say the words attributed to him. Or, even if he did, probably got taken out of context anyway.

ZimbioThe latest "controversy" (emphasis on the quotation marks) occurred when LeBron James was told that Pacers coach Frank Vogel referred to the Heat as "just another team." James took exception to that comment taking it to mean the Pacers did not respect the Heat and viewed them as just another opponent.

Not how it was actually mean in that the Heat are the next team in the Pacers' way to winning a championship.

Or not that Vogel actually said the heinous comment.

Vogel re-iterated his respect for the Heat and clarified his comment — which was actually that the Heat are "the next team in our way" — Monday as Indiana prepares for its first game against Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals.

This sounds like another case of the media fishing for a story or media recording. The damage might be done with James already commenting about it and using it as motivation.

Of course, Vogel and the Heat have a history. Vogel was fined during last year's conference semifinals for saying the Heat flop too much. There is definitely little love lost. And Wednesday is still a few days away.

Hawks in, Clippers out for Dwight Howard

Oh, the fun has just begun. The candidates are lining themselves up and preparing their pitches for the opening of July 1's free agency period. Ken Berger of CBS Sports already says the Rockets have intrigued Dwight Howard and they are on his short list. Two other teams supposedly on his short list appear to have made their intentions known. Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld reports Atlanta will pursue Howard in free agency, if in vain. Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles reports the Clippers will not jump through the hoops of trying to acquire Dwight Howard.

Kobe Bryant quashes retirement rumors

Lest you think Kobe Bryant will let a little Achilles end his career before he is ready, Kobe Bryant took to Twitter this weekend to dispel any though that he would retire this year. Bryant promised that he would be back. Bryant has contemplated retirement more and more in recent months and years (even before the injury). Bryant though anticipates playing a few more years. And as Steve Nash said on the Jim Rome Show on Monday, if anyone can bounce back from an injury like this, it is Bryant.

J.R. Smith expected to re-sign with Knicks

One of the bigger questions for the Knicks to answer this offseason involves the future of Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith. Carmelo Anthony said during his exit interview in New York on Monday that he would like to see the team re-sign his running mate. Smith will be heavily sought after, but it appears New York has an inside track. The New York Post reports Smith is expected to opt out of his contract and then sign a four-year deal starting at about $5 million.

Colangelo to remain with MLSE

The saga for Bryan Colangelo appears to be over. Doug Smith of the Toronto Star reports Colangelo will likely not be running the Toronto Raptors anymore and the team will begin a search for a new general manager (Masai Ujiri has already been bandied about). However, Colangelo will not be leaving the organization. He is expected to stay in a "major" role with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the group that owns the Raptors along with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily