LeBron James is hoping to motivate kids by telling his own inspiring story.

The closer Derrick Rose gets to the reality of playing with Pau Gasol with the game on the line, the more the Bulls star dreams.

O.J. Mayo has very few memories of last season.

LAS VEGAS - A year ago, the Los Angeles Clippers received a motivational gift on the first day of training camp. Maps of downtown Los Angeles were distributed, along with an unmistakable message: "Pick which route we're going to take."

LOS ANGELES-To hear everybody talk, Kobe Bryant was 26 years old, not 36. He was merely coming off a bruised thigh and scratched elbow, not a torn Achilles' tendon and fractured knee.

The night before his first official NBA practice, Doug McDermott went to bed early. He set three alarm clocks. He awoke every hour, hearing Tom Thibodeau's voice.

The Timberwolves discovered what they sought - a loud, energetic start to their new life without Kevin Love - with Monday's late-night welcome to another season. Borrowing from college basketball's midnight-madness tradition, the Wolves opened training camp with their "Dunks After Dark" production as the clock struck 12 o'clock that attracted NBA TV and a capacity crowd of 4,500 fans to Minnesota State-Mankato's Bresnan Arena, home to six days of Wolves' workouts starting Tuesday afternoon. The crowd of mostly college students stormed into the arena when the doors opened at 11 p.m. and it spilled onto the floor when the Wolves took the floor an hour later.

Al Horford stood on the sideline during the first day of training camp Tuesday, tugging anxiously at his No. 15 jersey while his teammates went through a five-on-five drill.

With their offseason of controversy behind them, the Los Angeles Clippers got back to the business of basketball Tuesday, opening a four-day training camp in a city known for its temptations and distractions.

The question comes up weekly, daily, almost hourly whenever the Charlotte Hornets are discussed:

Dormant for years, the rivalry between the Washington Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers may be back.

Considering how much time LeBron James has invested in Dion Waiters, instructing him to ignore the noise and not worry so much about what everyone else is saying, it's only natural that Waiters stoked the fires Tuesday on a reborn rivalry with the Washington Wizards precisely because of what others were saying.

Al Jefferson breaks into a wide, giddy smile and anxiously rubs his large hands together when he thinks about what he and the Charlotte Hornets might to able to accomplish this season.

The Kevin Love era officially ended in Minnesota in August when he was traded to Cleveland to team up with LeBron James and the Cavaliers. In retrospect, it may have been over far sooner.

Miami Heat center Justin Hamilton is expected to be sidelined for about a month after undergoing a procedure to repair a common abnormal heart rhythm.

Coach K believed in him, enough to even ask him to take charge of the team. All Stars listened to him, too, especially at crunch time.

The Heat's power rotation took a hit in training camp when center Justin Hamilton experienced dizziness in Monday's practice and was later treated for a minor heart condition.

The Chicago Bulls staged their first practice of training camp Tuesday morning, and it's no surprise that Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Mike Dunleavy, Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah were the starters in the scrimmaging portion.

O.J. Mayo says he has very few memories of last season.

A few days at the U.S. Military Academy can change the Knicks only so much. Notorious night owl J.R. Smith isn't going to start waking up at dawn like a cadet.

Former NBA star Kenny Smith and his family will appear on a reality show on TBS in the spring.

Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers made an impromptu visit to Steve Kerr's office last week and couldn't stop staring at the walls.

With NBA Media Day barely behind us, it's perfect fair and reasonable to already speculate as to which coaches will be fired soonest.

The official beginning of The Last Chapter was uncomfortable, unseemly, and undeniably perfect.

Somehow, some way, it felt as if Byron Scott was a player again.

The Utah Jazz rebuilding project has reached the point where it's time for the young talent to sink or shine.

The banter was lighthearted again inside the Los Angeles Clippers' practice facility, months of fretting over a disgraced owner and an excruciating playoff loss giving way to several less weighty topics.

Anthony Davis doesn't see the point to thinking about what might happen to the only NBA coach he's had if the New Orleans Pelicans fail to make the playoffs again this season.

After the longest offseason of his career, Kobe Bryant pulled on his familiar gold jersey Monday and went back to work with the Los Angeles Lakers, quietly believing his 19th NBA season will be better than almost anybody expects.

The boring stuff is important.

Ricky Rubio sat at a table with Kevin Martin to his left, ready to start the first day of the rest of his life without Kevin Love as a teammate in Minnesota.

James Harden was the target of plenty of criticism for his defense after the Houston Rockets were bounced from the playoffs in the first round last season on a last-second shot by Portland's Damian Lillard.

Chandler Parsons avoided much of the scrutiny when the Houston Rockets lost games last season.

Among the themes for the Portland Trail Blazers this season is to embrace the idea they belong with the elite teams in the West.

For the last 18 months, Danilo Gallinari has played far more tour guide than small forward.

David Lee learned to block out trade talk during his days with the New York Knicks when just about everybody on the roster was rumored to be on the move at some point.

Doc Rivers loves nothing more than talking basketball. And with the scandal involving former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling beginning to fade into the background, Rivers welcomes returning the focus squarely to the team and its performance.

Milwaukee Bucks rookie Jabari Parker is learning quickly about how to ingratiate himself to his new fans.

Eric Bledsoe was confident he would be back with the Suns despite a long summer of uncertainty that finally ended with the point guard signing a five-year, $70 million contract just days before training camp.

Kevin Durant made the tough decision to withdraw from Team USA before the FIBA World Cup.

This is one way it could go for the revamped Chicago Bulls, according to Derrick Rose.

Doc Rivers is adding three new assistant coaches to his Los Angeles Clippers staff for the upcoming season.

LeBron James doesn't know whether he'll take another shot at Olympic gold.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey was answering a question about Kyle Lowry on Monday when the star point guard walked past, about to give an interview.

San Antonio Spurs big man Tiago Splitter has a strained calf, the team said Monday.

Rajon Rondo wore a black sling on his left arm to help protect the surgically repaired bone in his hand.

Troubling as the Charlotte Hornets found Jeff Taylor's arrest, their coach said Monday the roster has the depth to compensate for Taylor's absence.

Greg Monroe had a clear message for Detroit Pistons fans Monday.

Joel Embiid has adopted a playful persona on social media, letting Philadelphia 76ers fans in on his celebrity crushes or endorsements 140 characters at a time.

The Boston Celtics have signed swingman Evan Turner.

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