* On May 12, Rick Fox had a torn tendon in his left foot surgically repaired. Fox is still recovering following a dedicated rehabilitation, but is now minus the cast, the boot and the crutches. "Had that bonfire a few weeks back," Fox told the Los Angeles Times last week.
A full recovery is still expected, but it is unknown when that will be. Fox and Laker coach Phil Jackson have said a December return could be realistic. With training camp due to start in Honolulu on Thursday, Fox is anxious to test his physical status. Even thinking of running the court five-on-five at training camp as a reasonable goal. "I'm getting to a place where I've paid the type of attention to my body all summer where I can't help but expect to be rewarded for that," Fox said to the Times. "I hope my body will respond."
HAYWOOD PROVIDING COMMENTARY
* Brendan Haywood majored in Communications at North Carolina and seemed to enjoy sharing his thoughts with the media as a Tar Heel. So it is not a surprise that Haywood worked as a TV analyst during the summer doing two games for the Washington Mystics.
Haywood provided the commentary with Comcast Sportsnet's Dei Lynam handling the play-by-play. "Dei really made it easy for me," Haywood recently told washingtonwizards.com. Although Haywood did struggle with some of the players names. "One of them was 'Abrosimova' and it was killing me, but after a while I got it down," Haywood said.
Haywood also noted that broadcasting was interesting, fun, and something he would like to pursue after basketball. Looking ahead to next offseason, he has plans to work as an intern to get more broadcasting experience and hopes to work some games for the Mystics again.
DEAN SMITH ON LEADERSHIP
* According to a UPI story in the Washington Times last week, Dean Smith will follow up his autobiography -- "A Coach's Life" -- with a book about leadership called "The Carolina Way: Leadership Lessons From a Life in Coaching."
So look forward to seeing Coach Smith back on the press tour for his new book. Maybe even hearing Larry King say, "Our guest tonight, the great coach from North Carolina, the legendary Dean Smith. Coach Smith, tell us how you ever come up with that four-corners thing?"
NBA TRAINING CAMP ROUNDUP
* Former Tar Heel Ademola Okulaja will be in training camp this week with the Utah Jazz. Okulaja, who has played the last three seasons in Spain for three different teams, is described by HoopsHype.com as, "One of the best players in FIBA basketball. A classic tweener." Utah's first exhibition game is on Sunday in Mexico City versus Dallas.
Shammond Williams is on the Orlando Magic training camp roster. Joseph Forte reported to camp with Seattle on Friday, which is contrary to earlier media reports that Forte would be released prior to training camp if not traded. The Detroit News speculates that 10-year NBA veteran Hubert Davis will be bought out of the final year of his contract ($3 million) by the Detroit Pistons.
Some other ACC players invited to NBA camps include Josh Powell (NCSU/Atlanta), Robert O'Kelley (WF/Memphis), George McCloud (FSU/Golden State), Obinna Ekezie (MD/Atlanta), John Crotty (VA/Orlando), Rusty LaRue (WF/Boston) and Eddie Elisma (GT/Boston).
OCTOBER TAR HEEL BIRTHDAYS ...
* Mick Mixon: 10-1 (45) ... Coretta Brown: 10-2 (23) ... Rich Yonakor: 10-3 (45) ... LaShonda Allen: 10-3 (24) ... LaQuanda [Barksdale] Quick ... 10-3 (24) ... Jeff Lebo: 10-5 (38) ... Tommy Kearns: 10-6 (67) ... Larry Davis: 10-6 (30) ... Marion Jones: 10-12 (28) ... Will Johnson: 10-18 (23) ... Brad Daugherty: 10-19 (38) ... Jeff McInnis: 10-24 (29) ... Pearce Landry: 10-27 (31) ... Michael Brooker: 10-28 (26) ... Ben Carnevale: 10-30 (88) Clifford Rozier: 10-31 (31).