リンク: J-Rich Blog.
Mi amigo Barbosa va a ser esta bien muy pronto. Muchos gracias a todos mis “fans” se habla espanol. No puedo practicar mi espanol aveces y todos me ayudaan. Adios!
リンク: J-Rich Blog.
Mi amigo Barbosa va a ser esta bien muy pronto. Muchos gracias a todos mis “fans” se habla espanol. No puedo practicar mi espanol aveces y todos me ayudaan. Adios!
Alando Tucker played a joke on me. He sent me some rogaine to my room cause my hair is thinning. I need some suggestion to pay him back lol
On Saturday, James was in Columbus cheering on his alma mater, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, which won its fifth state basketball title. James sat behind the bench but spent much of the game nervously pacing and chewing his nails. “That’s what I live for,” he said. “
can't say no one makes money from twitter now. the nba does )
"I'll never forget Sloan's reaction," Williams said with a shudder. "He came storming onto the court screaming, 'Damn you, Kirilenko, you think just because you've got an $84 million contract you can do whatever the bleep you want to do out here! Well, I've bleepin' news for you . . .' "
Williams said Sloan's earthy message was the best thing that could've happened to him . . . and the team, a consensus pick to go nowhere fast, yet finished 41-41.
"Man, if Sloan was gonna get on Kirilenko like that, I knew damn well what I had to do," Williams said. "I was like Speedy Gonzalez. I did exactly as told and then some. The funny thing is, everything I'd heard about Jerry turned out the opposite."
"A lot of bad words come out of his mouth. But, if you do it right the next time, in his next breath, he'll praise you just as heatedly. A lot of coaches don't understand; they beat you down without picking you back up," Williams said. "Jerry taught me how to be a point guard," he said. I asked him what that entails: "To think versus rely simply on instincts . . . time and possession . . . teammates needing to be spoon-fed . . . not giving the ball to a big man on the break unless he has a free lane . . . creating space --separation -- which is the object of the pick-and-roll, and then reading and reacting."
"Damn, we ain't had this much media since...." Nick Young said 90 minutes before tip.
"People I ain't seen before, people got smiles on their faces," Antawn Jamison added when he entered the locker room. "Y'all need anything? Y'all want a cold drink?"
On his nerves: "I don't get nervous. No, I don't get nervous. That's some old days when I got nervous. Now I was just out there to see how the knee felt."
On the day that was: "You ever heard that expression, 'If you want it to rain, wash your car?' You know, that's what happened this morning. I got here, knee's been feeling fine this whole time, as soon as I got here it started aching. And I'm like awww, man, see I knew this was gonna happen. So I said I wasn't gonna play. And then once I got home it felt better. I was like man, that's just nerves kicking in, and once I went out there it was just all basketball from there. I don't know if the building was cold. I don't know what happened, it just all of the sudden started aching. I just got in the house and I was like, oh, my knee feels better. Once I said I wasn't playing, the knee feels better."
On being introduced fourth, in front of Caron Butler: "That was a little different. That was awkward. But, you know, it's basketball. It's just introductions. It's not like the last person wins a car or anything."
Gilbert, on the fans' reaction: "Oh. You know, they miss me, what can I say?"
On scouting the NCAA Tourney: "No, I don't watch the JV. My Arizona boys got put out. So it's no point in even watching that."
On why he already broke his no-media pledge: "You know how I am. You know, I'm wishy washy."
"It's tough," Barnes said. "I'm outweighed by 40-50 pounds every night. I just got to keep fighting.
"It's no excuse. I've got to bring a better effort."
"I've never had a broken bone before," James said. "When the doctor showed it to me, I'm like, 'That's me?'"
リンク: Courtside Blog.
"No," Shaq said when asked if he could share about his conversation with Przybilla that landed them both T's.
"He said I threw the ball at him and I said, yeah. That's what I did. So what? Do something about it. I'm not much of a talker."
When asked if he could receive a fine for admitting he "threw the ball" at Przybilla, Shaq quickly corrected himself.
"I didn't throw it. I dropped it. Hey, it doesn't matter to me - whatever they do. It's been done before. You move on. I just dropped it. He was in the way. If he wouldn't have flopped and been on the floor, he wouldn't have been down there."
You don't like the floppers do you, asked one reporter.
"No. It just shows you are giving in. The referees are probably going to go for that every time. You've got to now (flop). It's the only way you can stop a person. It's kind of crazy the refs go for that."
So what did Shaq think of Oden?
"I don't. I'm a Shogun. You can't ask me about a low level ninja. I still have to worry about Yao Ming, Dwight Howard."
During his “60 Minutes” profile, James sank an underhand shot from 50 feet. And, yes, he did it on the first try. “One take,” he said with a laugh. “That’s me.”
Marcin Gortat scored Orlando’s first six points of the fourth quarter on a dunk, an alley-oop from J.J. Redick and a layup after being fouled that put the Magic ahead 88-72. Orlando’s reserve center, not known for his dunking ability, even shocked his own teammates.
“I’m surprised he jumped,” Redick joked. “He’s been known to jump as high as a phone book on dunk attempts.”
On why the Rockets are better off than they were in last year’s postseason:
“People gotta understand that last year when Houston played the Utah Jazz, who was it, Yao Ming didn’t play in the playoffs. And, Rafer got hurt, Rafer got hurt, make no mistake, the Rockets are for real. Make no mistake about it, the Rockets are for real.”
On what makes the Rockets who they are:
“The good thing about the Rockets is we don’t care who shoots the ball - if you feel like you got an advantage, go take advantage of it. But, the young fellas gotta learn, they gotta learn when to back it up, when to slow it up. We gotta get used to that…we gotta pick and choose our spots better, and that’ll change in the future.”
On the way he records his music:
“Yeah, yeah, got a studio in the car. Sometimes you get multi-idea in the car, you get multi-ideas in the shower. That’s the next step, put a studio in the shower.”
What's the beef? Well, Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez recently forced all of his long-haired players, including Ramirez, into an impromptu date with the clubhouse hairdresser. He also banned any jewelry worn onfield by Ramirez or any of his teammates.
"We want to look professional," Gonzalez told the Sun-Sentinel. "Nice and neat."
Only problem was that Ramirez, ranked first overall in Yahoo!'s fantasy baseball game, didn't take kindly to having his shortish dreads shorn off or his chain yanked off his neck. Once the media entered the Marlins' clubhouse on Thursday, Ramirez made sure he was seen sporting a strong message — "I'm sick of this ****" — written in Sharpie across his chest.
"I'm angry," he told reporters. "I want to be traded ... It's incredible. We're big leaguers."
・What a disgusting wench.
・I am Maki the spiral shellfish, who even silences crying babies.
・Growth through puberty
・My blade thirsts for blood tonight.
・They seem meaninglessly cool.
・Evildoer who threatens the peace of the land
・I will make the chrysanthemum flower bloom!
・Just as I wished.
・Be like the carp and go against that swift stream!
・What a life-force.
・I've been eyeballed.
・Breathing Via Gills
・I'm a goner.
・The small evening waves that flow into Seto,
・where are these sakura petals coming from?
・BLOOD AND TEARS!
・As the father of that thing, I feel like killing myself.
・I want fried crab and soy sauce.
・I won't lose to the mole.
・I'll cut out your intestines, sea louse.
・She is "The Demon Prefect", Zenigata Mawari !
・Humans have a sense of chivalry too.
・You scum samurai!
・This sword is The Blowfish Slayer.
・Let me bring bombs to blast through Sakurada's Gate!
・The management fees ratio per month for the new field are as follows: salutation fees 20%, cheering fees 20%
・You'll be shackled.
・Today, Everyman was mesmerized by my singing again!
・Millet dumplings at his hip....eh
・Fine by me!
"I retired," Arenas said in the home locker room before Washington's game against Charlotte. "No more blogging for me."
"It's just like the double-(edged) sword thing: Eventually your words is going to kill you," Arenas said with a smile.
Asked to explain his thoughts further, Arenas smiled.
"I started looking at it as, before, it was fun, and everybody has fun reading it. And then it's like everything I said, everybody started using it as firepower, instead of saying it's just entertainment. You know, people started using it, trying to take bits and pieces instead of enjoying the blog," the three-time All-Star said. "So once I started seeing that, I just started visualizing, eventually, this is going to be the double-(edged) sword thing. It made me and it's going to kill me, so I might as well stop."
People say, "How come NBA players lose all their money?" It's because we're making money like a 40-year old businessman would make. If a 40-year old businessman made money like us, he's very successful. Right? But at 40 years old, you're established, you have a family, you don't have people pressing you for money, you know what I'm saying? We're 23. Single. A lot of people are single. A lot of people come from areas where they don't have the means, and don't understand the whole money situation. They don't understand that when it says $1.5 million, half of that goes to taxes, and the house, and the agent. I mean, it goes.
So your friends will actually just come up to you and ask you for money?
Oh, all the time. All the time.
And you give it to them?
I mean, it's hard to say no to somebody that you grew up with your whole life and you know they're in a situation. That would be a good story to ask players.
Do you remember your first check?
I remember it was negative. I remember it was negative. I had some fines. I had a lot of fines. I didn't see a lot of it.
MC: Seattle has produced a lot of guards lately, too (Brandon Roy, Jason Terry, Jamal Crawford, Nate Robinson, Martell Webster, Brooks). What's going on with that?
AB: We're pretty good. Most people don't know who's all from Seattle. When they say there's not too many basketball players from Seattle, then you start naming them, they're like, "We didn't know all those guys were from Seattle." We've got a nice chunk of guys.
MC: Do you guys get together and play in the offseason?
MC: Who's the best out of them?
MC: No question?
AB: Why not?
Is Rick Adelman in the Coach of the Year conversation now? Second in the tough west without Tracy McGrady?
Cheerleaders are getting benched.
Kroenke Sports Enterprises recently announced layoffs. Among those affected has been the Denver Nuggets Cheerleading team, whose performances have been scaled back from all home games to only weekend games.
The cheerleading team is not to be confused with the Denver Nuggets Dancers, an all-female group that continues to perform at all games. The cheerleaders, made up of 36 men and women, provide college-type cheers during breaks in the action.
“That’s what I do, baby. I’m Shaq-ovich,” said O’Neal, who made seven of eight free throws in the game. “We needed them. I’m known that when you really need them, I’m going to make them.”
No paparazzi. No celebrity treatment. Just a man and his ribs.
"It's been the most relaxed and ... comfortable I've been since maybe the fifth or sixth grade," said Mayo, who spent part of a typical off day with The Associated Press recently.
"It's not high expectations you know," Mayo said. "The city understands we're a young team, we're still trying to get better. The city enjoys our young team and enjoys our talent, looks forward to watching us grow as a team and get better throughout the years.
"When we go out, they show us all respect."
Barkley: If you were to swap the people in Cleveland and Milwaukee, it'd be the same dreary ass city. They are both dreary places. C Webb, would you agree? Cleveland and Milwaukee, other than Perkins Soul Food joint, they are the same dreary ass city.
Webber: I agree.
Johnson: I was born in Milwaukee, they are not the same city.
Barkley: Ernie you were born in Milwaukee?
Johnson: I was born in Milwaukee.
Barkley: Milwaukee is a very nice city.
Barkley: There's nothing happening in Cleveland, trust me, other than the Indians.
Johnson: They are the number one seed right now.
Barkley: They've got LeBron James who is spectacular. There is no reason to live in Cleveland, that's why the call it the mistake by the lake. They didn't come up with that for no reason Ernie.
Gallinari is likely going to have back surgery, which would a disappointing conclusion to an underwhelming rookie campaign for the former No. 6 pick. Meanwhile, Thompson—who was taken 12th overall out of little-known Rider University in New Jersey—entered play ranked 10th among rookies in scoring (10.4 per game), fifth in rebounds (6.9) and first among all players in one fascinating category: fouls.
While Thompson continues to routinely struggle on the defensive end, his habit of getting in foul trouble isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The improvements on that end will continue to come, but he refuses to be embarrassed every time out and that often leads to hacking away at would-be scorers. All in all, it appears they found a good player with their pick.
The Knicks deserved the boos they were hearing from their fans at the Garden during the loss for a number of reasons. But their inability to out-rebound the league’s worst rebounding team most certainly was one of them. The Kings—who entered play with the league’s worst rebounding differential (minus-5.42)—won the battle of the boards 52 to 36.
• G Leandro Barbosa is out one to three weeks with a hyperextension of the left knee.
• F Amare Stoudemire (detached retina) is out for the rest of the regular season and playoffs.
“It shows I’ve been consistent at what I’ve been doing, and the next guy is my illegitimate father—Wilt Chamberlain—so just like in ‘Star Wars,’ hopefully I can catch up to my father.”—Phoenix C Shaquille O’Neal, on passing Moses Malone as the fifth-leading scorer in NBA history (27,412 points).
“I would say (being in the top five) was really important,” he said. “But my thing when I first came into this league, I always said to myself, ‘When I leave, I will be remembered,’ and I’m up there with some pretty good company. But if I didn’t have three years worth of injuries and 5,000 missed free throws, right now I’d probably be at least No. 3. … So I’m a little disappointed in myself right now, but it’s a good milestone.
“On the other hand, I’d rather be in the third or fourth position for the playoffs—if I could trade that, it’d be better. Milestones don’t really mean anything unless you win the whole thing.”
“The young fella was trying to come at me in the first quarter a little bit.”—G Deron Williams, apparently an ancient at 24, on Thunder rookie G Russell Westbrook. Williams attacked the 20-year-old Westbrook in the third quarter, scoring 12 points and driving for four lay-ups, before the Thunder switched the defensive assignment over to Thabo Sefolosha.
• G Ronnie Brewer celebrated his 24th birthday Friday and finished with eight points against the Thunder. Rookie Kosta Koufos had to sing “Happy Birthday” to Brewer while doing a little Greek folk dancing at the morning shoot-around.
• Through his connection with former Duke teammate Reggie Love, F Carlos Boozer had the chance to meet now-President Barack Obama at a campaign stop in Miami last summer. That almost made it more painful as Boozer watched Obama pick Pittsburgh to beat Duke and advance to the Final Four and North Carolina to win the championship as part of his ESPN bracket. Boozer said he got in touch with Love, Obama’s personal assistant, to ask what he was doing.
“I said, ‘Reggie, what’s up with President Barack picking the Tar Heels to win the whole thing?’” Boozer said. “He said, ‘I know. He stabbed us both in the back on national TV.’”
Battier learns a lot from studying the data on the superstars he is usually assigned to guard. For instance, the numbers show him that Allen Iverson is one of the most efficient scorers in the N.B.A. when he goes to his right; when he goes to his left he kills his team. The Golden State Warriors forward Stephen Jackson is an even stranger case. “Steve Jackson,” Battier says, “is statistically better going to his right, but he loves to go to his left — and goes to his left almost twice as often.” The San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginóbili is a statistical freak: he has no imbalance whatsoever in his game — there is no one way to play him that is better than another. He is equally efficient both off the dribble and off the pass, going left and right and from any spot on the floor.
Nana Papa Yaw Dwene Mensah-Bonsu, generally known as Pops Mensah-Bonsu (born September 7, 1983), is a British professional basketball player, currently with the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association.
In the Ghanaian language Twi, Mensah-Bonsu's name means King (Nana) Father (Papa) Thursday Born (Yaw) Three (Mensah) Whale (Bonsu). In several interviews Mensah-Bonsu has suggested that his family earned its surname when an ancestor slew a whale.
F Nick Collison apparently isn’t happy with just one broken finger. Playing with a broken left thumb for two months, he added a chip fracture to the middle finger on his right (shooting) hand Monday against San Antonio. The injury happened while blocking a shot and slapping the backboard in the fourth quarter. He played Wednesday, racking up a double-double (12 points and 13 boards) against Chicago.
(“Someone created the box score,” Morey says, “and he should be shot.”) How many points a player scores, for example, is no true indication of how much he has helped his team. Another example: if you want to know a player’s value as a rebounder, you need to know not whether he got a rebound but the likelihood of the team getting the rebound when a missed shot enters that player’s zone.
“I call him Lego,” Morey says. “When he’s on the court, all the pieces start to fit together. And everything that leads to winning that you can get to through intellect instead of innate ability, Shane excels in. I’ll bet he’s in the hundredth percentile of every category.”
Before one game, Shane Battier asked Coach Rick Adelman (right) if he could come off the bench to be able to guard the high-scoring sixth-man Manu Ginóbili. “No one in the N.B.A. does that,” says the Rockets’ general manager Daryl Morey.
At predraft workouts, he battled illness and was outplayed by lesser-known prospects. On draft night, teams with early picks passed on him. Jordan did not work out with many of the teams that picked later in the round because he had thought he would be selected earlier.
Finally, the Clippers took him.
“My mind just went blank,” Jordan said. “I thought I should have went a lot higher than I did.”
リンク: News | Hawks Insider.
he doesn’t screw up, he’s versatile enough to defend several positions, and he’s money on that set-shot three.
The more I’ve watched the NBA (and it’s my job, so I kinda have a built-in excuse), the more I’ve learned the value of what Hubie Brown calls “glue guys.” No, not guys ready to be taken to the glue factory, but guys who do all the little things well without disrupting the balance. They are the hustle and flow, and every great team has a glue guy. I’m thinking maybe we finally found ours.
リンク: News | Hawks Insider.
Mario is like a live wire dangling near a puddle. Sometimes the wire connects and shoots sparks and fire all over the place. And sometimes it just dangles there. Woody has to figure out which Mario is going to show from game to game.
リンク: News | myClipper NATION.
I know what I'm going to videotape next. I'm going to go home, I'll have Mike Taylor come over and we'll record us boxing each other with the Wii. If you haven't tried the boxing game on the Wii, it is a workout! I'll get home from practice and take a shower and then I'll start playing. After a few minutes I have to turn the fan on. Then a few minutes later, I'm starting to sweat. The Wii is pretty intense. My neighbors go crazy when I box on the Wii because I scream at my TV.
リンク: News | myClipper NATION.
Here's a little trivia for you, Clipper Nation: Baron Davis is the worst bowler on the team, by far. I think he bowled a 34 in his first game. He kept trying to put a crazy spin on the ball, but then the ball went BOOM! Right into the gutter. The best bowlers on our team are probably Coach or Fred Jones. I think Coach bowled a 191. I didn't see him bowl, but on the score sheet it said he had a 191. I don't know how much money he gave the scorekeeper, but...
I was thinking about dissing Shaq on his Twitter. Something to make him come back to mine. That's how it happens on the street. I feel like when rappers start a beef that their album sales go up. So I'm going to start a beef with Shaq and maybe I'll get more Twitter hits.
I hope he doesn't take it personal though. Rappers just talk. I actually have to see Shaq in a couple weeks.
He doesn't get a lot of recognition because he's a quiet guy and keeps to himself. I don't know how many interviews he does. He kind of stays out of the public eye. But I feel like he's definitely one of the best. You would definitely have to put him in your top four power forwards in the league right now.
What makes David so good is that he has an unbelievable jump shot. I think outside of maybe Dirk that David has the best jump shot, from the college three-point line and in, at the power forward position. Nobody shoots as good as him, he's just money.
Who I'm Watching This Year: I've got to go with Memphis, that's just, you know, me and Cal [coach John Calipari] we're tight and I'm always going to roll with him. They've been playing pretty good basketball of late, they've won like 25, 26 in a row, so that's the team I'm going for. [Editor's note: Calipari coached at UMass from 1988-96.]
Playing for the Lakers has so many benefits. One of my favorites is the close proximity between L.A. and San Diego, my home. I couldn’t ask for any better support from my family and friends. One of my biggest supporters, if not best supporter, is my Grandmother Gloria, whom everyone calls Great Grandma Glo.
How passionate is Great Grandma Glo about the Lakers? Well, for starters, she never misses a game. I mean never. She watches them all on NBA League Pass. She’ll be at home with one of my uncles or a bunch of her friends or visiting my dad’s house watching. And when she tunes in, she’s decked out all in Lakers gear. She has the necklaces going, the jersey or L-u-u-u-u-k-e t-shirt.
Secondly, Great Grandma Glo surfs the internet and checks out all of the articles about the team the next day and after she reads them, she’ll send e-mails to her friends. She has quite a distribution list.
Reading this blog, you might be, ‘Yeah, right, Luke.” But trust me, she’s diehard.
Great Grandma Glo will call me about something she read in the L.A. Times or the Orange County Register or the L.A. Daily News. I mean, she reads them all – Riverside Press, Long Beach Press-Telegram, you name it.
リンク: Twitter / jrich23.
・Taking votes to see if jared dudley should cut his braids. I told him since the president of the braids club (AI) cut his u got to yours.
・Finally convince Jared Dudley to cut his braids. He's going to cut them next week. Go give u the world premiere pics when he does lol.
・Its happening today jared dudley is cutting his braids off @ 8pm tonight. Will send pics later.
・The cut has begun trying to send pics but they r not going thru.
・Pics not going thru. Almost done, told JD he should donate his hair. It almost a 1/2 of trash bag full.
Growing up in McLeansboro, Ill., Jazz coach Jerry Sloan's family didn't get a phone for the first time until his junior year in high school. So you can only imagine the fun Wednesday in trying to explain Twitter to the soon-to-be 67-year-old.
One of the local television stations asked Sloan about Charlie Villanueva sending a tweet (update) from the locker room at halftime of Milwaukee's game Sunday against Boston and the resulting fallout with Bucks coach Scott Skiles.
"I don't follow that," Sloan said. "I don't even have a computer. I don't know how to turn one on. I don't know what you're talking about. I'm going to be totally honest. How would you do that?"
Sloan was told that Villanueva could do it through his cell phone. This brought more confusion. "I have a phone, but I don't know how to use it that way," Sloan said. "I wish I did, but I didn't want to be aggravated. I've just kind of been that way all along."
Sloan has had a no cell phone rule on the team bus - - the Jazz's p.r. staff often has to text us with updates about practice times and whatnot - - but is realistic about how closely his players are adhering to it.
"I know they're back there on the bus, hiding around, doing that stuff," Sloan said.
Deron Williams walked by and was told we were trying to explain Twitter to Sloan. "Coach doesn't like it when we text," said Williams, who claimed to know little about Twitter. He said nobody would even think about doing it at halftime as long as Sloan was coach.
The Jazz did have a moment earlier in the season, Sloan said, when a player's phone went off during a meeting. "Years ago, I would have put my foot on it and squeezed on it," Sloan said. "I'm too old to do that. I'm afraid I'll slip off it and hurt myself."
After LeBron zipped a cross-court pass to Mo Williams on the opposite wing for his third of six three-pointers last night, Doug Collins credited Danny Ferry for bringing Mo in, calling him “the ideal fit for LeBron James.”
"Somebody said that we're not in President Obama's Final Four, and as much as I respect what he's doing, really, the economy is something that he should focus on, probably more than the brackets," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said from the Blue Devils' first-round site in Greensboro, N.C.
The president has some sentimental ties to Carolina.
During last year's March Madness, he picked the Tar Heels to go all the way, though the team ended up losing to Kansas in the semifinals. In the days before his win in North Carolina's climactic Democratic primary in May, Obama played a pickup game with the team.
During the interview, he addressed the players directly.
"Now, for the Tar Heels that are watching, I picked you all last year — you let me down," the president said. "This year, don't embarrass me in front of the nation, all right? I'm counting on you. I still got those sneakers you guys gave me."
“I think I kind of forced them’’ to let him play, Wallace said after coming back from a sprained left knee to push the Bobcats to a 104-88 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
“They wanted me to go to the hospital. I’m sick of hospitals. The only time I want to go there is to say hi to the doctors.’’
Renaldo Balkman would like to work out with Rodman before his European tour begins in November in Belgium. The Nuggets forward, who grew up idolizing Rodman and believes his game is similar, wants to work out this summer with Rodman. The only problem is locating the vagabond former rebounding whiz.
Buck then got Rodman’s number, and the plan was to keep in touch. By the following summer, when Balkman was in Las Vegas for summer league with the Knicks, he met Rodman for the first time.
“Just meeting him felt great,’’ said Balkman, who believes his energetic game and defensive skills conjure up some images of Rodman, who played in the NBA from 1986-2000, leading the league seven times in rebounding. “He just told me to never give up.”
Balkman then told Rodman he would like to work out with him some day, and Rodman apparently was agreeable.
“He’s a crazy guy. I’m a crazy guy. I’m not as crazy as Rodman, though, with all those tattoos.’’
“Renaldo is the new Rodman, but he can score better,’’ said Dahntay Jones while bantering with Nuggets teammate Carmelo Anthony.
Anthony then agreed, saying, “He’s an offensive Rodman. I’ll take that. I’ll go with that.”
O'Neal has gone out of his way to single out the Blazers' backup center, who plays a physical style against Shaq. "Przybilla can't guard me when I'm 27, 37 or 47," Shaq said in November 2008.
The Lakers' owner said in May 2005 that Shaq got in shape only because he was motivated by his trade to Miami. "I didn't need motivation," Shaq fired back. "I needed a real owner, not a guy that parties with girls three times (younger) than him. When you're 60, hang out with 60-year-olds, not 20-year-olds. You can quote me on that. I've got nothing else to say about Jerry Buss."
Shaq took issue when Bibby of the "Sacramento Queens" -- as O'Neal was fond of calling one of the Lakers' main rivals from their championship seasons early this decade -- was named to the 2004 Olympic team "Any Cub Scout [Bibby] with Boy Scouts [the Kings] can do Boy Scoutish things," Shaq said. "But when the [bleep] was in the Cub Scouts, he was a Cub Scout. When the [bleep] was in Vancouver, nobody hears about his punk [butt]. Now since he's on Sacramento ... That's some [mess] that he's on the team."
Shaq has referred to the Mavericks' center as "Erica" and said he'd dominate in the WNBA. (In a running theme for Shaq, he has called Nets coach Lawrence Frank "Laura Frank," characterized George Karl as a "woman" who "cries all the time" and described the Spurs as a "great WNBA team.") When he was struggling with a leg injury with Miami during the 2005 playoffs, Shaq said, "I've been playing like Erick Dampier."
“We didn’t want to lose to a team like Sacramento,” Smith said. “No offense to them, but (after) beating New Orleans and Utah, teams who are on top of the Western Conference, we didn’t want to let ourselves down by losing this game. We’re just trying to separate ourselves from the pack. Miami’s right on our heels still.”
Don’t count on Wolves coach Kevin McHale joining Popovich in the record books for coaching longevity. A night after Popovich coached his landmark 1,000th career game, McHale was coaching his 79th. “I can’t imagine 100,” McHale quipped.
"I thought I was done (last season) because those doctors didn't know what was going on," O'Neal said. "When I got here, it wasn't even a hip problem. Those guys, Nellie and Mike Clark, they saved me."
Clark is president of Mesa-based National Academy of Sports Medicine, a Suns partner. O'Neal is not the athletic training staff's only beneficiary, with Nash, 35, still at a high level and Grant Hill, 36, closing in on his career's first 82-game season. With career-best shooting, O'Neal is 38 points from passing Moses Malone as the NBA's fifth all-time leading scorer.
Remembering Ron Artest's altercation with Matt Harpring last season, I thought Houston coach Rick Adelman made a smart move (and probably didn't even know it) when he sat Artest only 25 seconds after Harpring came in to start the second quarter.
Of course, Artest's outburst last season with Sacramento might have been more contrived than we originally believed. He said as much after Wednesday's game.
"Unlike when I was in Sacramento, I had to get the crowd riled, all rowdy, just to make it a fun, entertaining game," Artest said. "When I come here, the Rockets are already entertaining."
This could be the beginning of a league-wide drive to reduce salaries over the next few years. The collective bargaining agreement can be reopened by the owners after two more seasons, and more than a few can't wait for that day to come. There is already talk that the NBA will try to eliminate the mid-level exception, currently with a starting salary of $5.6 million, while also putting an end to the veteran minimum of $1.2 million.
Lorenzen Wright's rules of the road
1. Find the nearest Cheesecake Factory or P.F. Chang's. You can never go wrong when you have those.
2. Never leave home without your phone.
3. Never be late for the bus.
What Cavs player Lorenzen Wright packs for a West Coast trip, in three suitcases: Five dress suits and one casual suit; seven belts; six dress shirts and six pairs of cuff links; five ties; five pairs of jeans; three long-sleeve T-shirts; four casual T-shirts; one vest; two sweat suits; nine pairs of shoes; 14 pairs of sunglasses in a case; underwear, undershirts, socks; one dop kit with toiletries. In a Louis Vuitton backpack: computer; cell phones; DVD player and movies; jewelry; iPod; headphones; Bible.
I stopped by Wizards/Wolves game last night because I didn't have anything to do and they were giving out tickets in exchange for canned food. Something about Y2K, I guess. Seemed pretty legit, but maybe they were planning on deploying some kind of horrible weaponry and needed a stocked bomb shelter. Either way, I took my can of peaches with me down to the gym and got a seat.And dude, your DAD was playing for the Timberwolves. Yeah, seriously, your dad.
I'm sure it was him. He was bald but had that little bit of side hair like Scott Skiles and the flesh-colored beard. It had to have been your dad. You said he's been able to get back in the gym after the heart thing, right? Yeah, I thought so. It was definitely him. He had the knee braces on and everything.
Washington won without making a field goal in the game’s final 8 minutes, nearly blowing an 11-point, fourth-quarter lead.
リンク: Big road trip.
We are on a very long road trip starting tonight against the T'wolves, i've been playing really well and feeling good since I fractured my tooth in LA. I have to wear a mouth piece from now on, when I first came into the league I wore one but its tough to breathe with and talk on the floor so I stopped. I'm back to it now but maybe its a good thing since I've played pretty well since.
"This has been the worst year of my NBA career, and the least amount of fun I've ever had," said Davis, a 10-year veteran, his head shaking, his voice low, his eyes partly shaded by a black Dodgers cap.
He bit off part of the doughnut. He may possess a five-year, $65-million contract, but his face is a mask of sadness. "I've had seasons where I haven't had great numbers, but at least I have had fun. But this year, it's all just spiraled downhill from the start."
He said he had imagined a brilliant homecoming, not this. That this is happening in front of family and friends in an arena a few miles from his childhood home in South L.A. weighs on his heart.
An Eastern Conference scout recently gave the Globe his top five NBA prospects to keep an eye on during NCAA Tournament time:
1. Blake Griffin, Oklahoma, sophomore, forward, 6-10, 251.
"He can affect a game from two dominating standpoints in rebounding and scoring. He's a poor man's Karl Malone."
According to an NBA executive, there is growing concern inside the Kings organization that if their arena issue isn't resolved, they could end up moving to Anaheim. Anaheim has been hoping to get an NBA team for years, has filled its arena for Lakers exhibition games and Clippers regular-season games, and could attract fans from as far south as San Diego. The Lakers and Clippers, however, could challenge for territorial rights fees, and it could be hard for the Kings to find a spot on television in LA, too. The financially strapped Pacers, who reportedly have lost $200 million since 1983, also could be on the move eventually. San Jose, Kansas City, Seattle, and Las Vegas are potential future NBA homes.
The NBA put out a St. Patrick's Day clothing line at the beginning of the year for all 30 teams that included green jerseys, T-shirts, hoodies, and hats. An NBA source said the Lakers were quietly not in favor of it, since the green and the shamrocks are associated with their heated rivals, the Celtics. But the green Lakers gear actually sold well when it first went on the market.
"The balance has always been there for me," Jackson says. " I got a note from [former Marquette University coach Al] McGuire before he passed away and it said, 'If you can't get it done in eight hours, you ain't gonna get it done.' So that was one of the things that I try to remember about basketball. I've always had outside interests. That's been no problem."
Jackson has a propensity to compare players to animals, as if he's telling stories around a campfire. Jackson described Michael Jordan as having "a pit bull's mentality." He made a cameo in the 2005 film Harlem Globetrotters: The Team that Changed the World and labeled one of the Globetrotters a "jack rabbit." This season he illustrated Trevor Ariza's defense by saying, "He's a cobra out there and he just strikes and takes the ball and he's terrific at it."
Which leads to the obvious question: What animal is Jackson?
"A fox," says Derek Fisher, who has played for Jackson for seven of the nine seasons that Jackson's been in L.A.. "He's really sly. He doesn't make a lot of noise when he's around. He just kind of comes and does what he wants to do and needs to do and then he disappears back out into the woods. He's just chilling amongst the trees."
Stern used to joke with friends that he felt his real first name was "Stupid" because of all the times Auerbach addressed him that way. Jackson and Stern have had their spats, too, over scheduling, officiating, cameras in the locker room and, most recently, Jackson's reluctance to assume All-Star coaching duties.
"This is a tough league," Stern said during All-Star weekend in Phoenix. "We've got lots of unhappy people. They get unhappy if they don't get elected, they get unhappy if I don't select them if there's an injury ..."
And then came the zinger:
"Sometimes they get unhappy if I do select them -- oh, no, that's Phil Jackson."
I go to look out the window and there is a foot draped over my seat by the person behind me. I turn the other way and notice another foot about 3 inches from my ear. This is not a normal foot, mind you, it's about the size of a roll of paper towels. I turn around and see Roy with his feet on my chair and one of those neck pillows that is the shape of an inflated horseshoe around his neck. On his head is a Phillies cap that is 2 seconds away from falling off.
He's sitting next to Travis, which I find very interesting. You have to watch Travis because he can be very tricky on flights. Roy has an expensive bag he uses as a carry-on and on our last flight from Boston, Travis thought it would be a good idea to hide a meatball in it.
Now, this was not a meatball in tin foil or anything but a meatball with pasta sauce and parmesan cheese on it. Roy was not amused, to say the least. He looked like he was going to stuff Trav in an overhead compartment for the flight.
So then at the Fieldhouse last night, I found out Murph DID labor over the words. When I mentioned to Pacers.com maestro, Conrad Brunner, that Murph could always fall back on blogging when his playing days are over, I was informed that Murph pounded out the nearly thousand-word entry on his Blackberry with no additional editing.
After the game, Murph confirmed the story considering it no big deal since the flight was so long. He also seemed genuinely excited to have his writing receive a favorable review, so hopefully he'll churn out a few more posts before the season ends. But, please Murph, grab a laptop. I don't want to hear about your double-double streak (currently 11) ending because you have to leave the game with severe thumb cramps.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The financial collapse has hit the city known as Wall Street South.
For years, Bank of America Corp. and Wachovia Corp. helped turn Charlotte into a financial powerhouse. Now, the big banks have thrust it into the same predicament as the real Wall Street -- the city is losing thousands of jobs and an unquantifiable amount of prestige. Residents who invested heavily in the banks have seen their wealth dissipate and lifestyles change radically.
The Sixers celebrated the final game at the Spectrum, which will be torn down later this year, by introducing members of the 1982-83 championship team (Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Bobby Jones, Marc Iavaroni, Earl Cureton, Franklin Edwards, Clemon Johnson, Reggie Johnson) and the 1966-67 champions (Wali Jones) before the game. Noticeable no-shows were Maurice Cheeks and Billy Cunningham. The Sixers earned their first sellout of the season at the Spectrum, which is across the street from the team’s current home, the Wachovia Center.
Quote To Note: “Wow. It was all I thought it would be and more. The fans were very intense. You could feel the energy. It was great to play in that building.”—G Willie Green, after Friday’s 104-101 victory over the Bulls in the team’s Spectrum finale.
It’s kind of amusing, but when the Knicks show up on a nationally-televised game, it’s news. They were not scheduled to appear on ABC, TNT or ESPN this season, but were added when executives decided against showing Toronto-Washington. Now the whole country will be able to watch the Knicks on April 10 when they play the Orlando Magic on ESPN2.
n. refers to pulling down your pants to reveal your balls and ass to the world to fill time during a slow period. Before being done, you must say "Here comes the funcooker!"
The most recent case involved Lakers forward Trevor Ariza, who caught Blazers guard Rudy Fernandez on a break and drilled him to the floor after nearly taking off his head. Don't get me wrong - it was a clean play. Ariza was clearly going for the ball and missed . . .resulting in Fernandez's injuries and subsequent hospital visit. Ariza was assessed a Flagrant 2 and ejected from the game, and the NBA didn't feel the need to pile on any other penalties. But this is just the latest in a series of similar plays that have resulted in significant injuries for the players involved.
The last time the NBA got this physical we saw an intervention at the league level. The "Derek Harper Rule" was the direct result of the 1994 NBA Finals series, in which knock-down-drag-out defense was taken to a new level. Houston Rockets guard Kenny Smith wore New York Knicks guard Derek Harper as a jacket for most of the series, inspiring the new hand-check rules that have made defense above the free throw line somewhat of a lost art. Perhaps it's time for another, similar adjustment. . .before any more players wind up in the hospital.
Actually. I've had 4 different NBA GMs tell me that's why we're seeing so many more injuries of late than we've seen in the past. No kidding!
Malone's statement was a response to this quotation by Hannity: "But I think what happened with Bush Derangement Syndrome -- this is important -- is that they so went after the president. They accused our troops of being Nazis, compared them to the gulags, said they were terrorizing women and children in the dark, and accused them of murder without even any evidence." He continued, "These are congressmen and senators doing this."
Malone replied, "Well, first of all, the Congress and the senators need to be slapped around for saying it. These are our kids." He went on, "Look at me. Turn the cameras off, and I'll slap them. OK."
Conservative commentator Tony Blankley then said, "I'll hold your coat for you."
Malone is a Republican who made contributions to George W. Bush's 2004 presidential campaign, as well as other conservative politicians and organizations.
"That dude's having a super career year, Ray Allen," Pierce said. "He's never shot over 92 percent. I thought I'd get within like 6 or 8 percent of him, but he is just running away with it. That's little stuff we do to push each other. Dang, he's got his career year. I didn't know he was shooting 95. He's killing me."
Allen ranked fourth in the NBA in free throw percentage last season at a career-best .907. The 13-year veteran is now shooting a stunning .954 from the line (206 of 216). The franchise record is .932 (342 of 367) by Bill Sharman during the 1958-59 season. The NBA record is .958 (206 of 215) by Houston's Calvin Murphy during the 1980-81 season.
Despite Allen's free throw prowess, he is second in the NBA. Toronto's Jose Calderon has shot nearly 100 fewer than Allen but is hitting at an amazing .983 clip (117 of 119), and once made 84 straight this season. Moreover, he was one of seven players who had shot at least .900 from the line entering last night.
"The top four, that's probably some of the highest free throw shooting in the league," said Allen. "Normally, 91 [percent] is pretty much leading it. That's some pretty good free throw shooting."
While he says he had great teachers while growing up, he mainly credits his college coach, Connecticut's Jim Calhoun. At the beginning of every practice, Allen said, Calhoun would pit the players in free throw shooting contests. Once the competition was over, the losers would have to go on the opposite side of the floor from Calhoun to be seen by everyone before running to the coach. Calhoun would almost make a point to let everyone know when the usually sharpshooting Allen lost.
Among the key issues for the struggling franchise is its operation of Conseco Fieldhouse. The building where the team plays its home games belongs to the Indianapolis Capital Improvement Board, and the Pacers have been paying its $15 million operating cost. Pat Early, the board's vice president, said the Pacers have made it clear that they no longer can pay that amount, in part because they could lose $30 million this season.
"It's possible they could move the team," Early said. "It's possible they could sell the team. It is also possible they could shut the team down. What's not possible is the Pacers losing the kind of money they're losing this year indefinitely."
"We can handle the team," he said. "It's the operation of the facility that's causing us the problem. We're not asking anyone to pay for us. It's just the operating of the facility."
The Pacers and the Capital Improvement Board struck their current deal 10 years ago, and Early said they are in the early stages of renegotiating. He said the board can't pay the operating cost because it already faces a $43 million shortfall, and he's unsure who would.
A Philadelphia woman has accused Memphis Grizzlies guard Marko Jaric of sexual assault, multiple sources familiar with the investigation told SI.com. The incident allegedly occurred in March when the Grizzlies were in Philadelphia to play the 76ers.
コメント欄「I thought it would be OJ spreadin’ some Mayo where he shouldn’t…」
SN: Turf toe, ultimately, was the reason the Thunder failed you in the physical and rescinded the trade. Did that surprise you?
TC: Honestly, I was very surprised. I was shocked. My toe is fine.
Q: Kevin Durant was saying he gets recognized around town sometimes, but only because he is tall. Do you?
A: I get it sometimes. But not as much as Kevin. I am tall, but not that tall. That will come the more we get seen on TV and stuff.
In most NBA organizations, there would be a coaching change, if for nothing else than to bring a fresh voice and new approach to the forefront.
But here is the Clippers dilemma: Dunleavy still has two years remaining on his contract, after this year. At over $5 million per year, he is one of the highest-paid coaches in the league, despite having only one season in his six years at the helm in which the Clippers finished above .500 and made the playoffs.
If Dunleavy is fired, not only would Sterling have to pay Dunleavy those remaining years, but Sterling would have to hire and pay a new head coach, not to mention a general manager, too.
On selling the franchise: "If I could find a Marc Cuban (Dallas owner) type for Memphis, it would be wonderful for Memphis. ... If it doesn't happen then I guess my kids will end up running the team."
"I'm glad to be here and glad to have this opportunity," said Lowry, who also lauded Griz point guard and former counterpart Mike Conley.
The pair sat together for a pregame interview during the Grizzlies' television broadcast.
Truth is, Lowry and Conley remain close and text each other regularly. They happen to be in similar situations on the court, too -- both no longer have to look over their shoulders.
"I'm happy for Mike," Lowry said. "He's showing his potential. With me there, it was competitive, but we were back and forth. Now, he's playing great and you have to be excited for him."
The Phoenix Suns make Stromile Swift's fifth NBA stop. Swift played just six games this season for New Jersey, spending about six weeks away from the team as his mother turned gravely ill from kidney disease after a horrible string of other health problems.
She passed away Jan. 27.
Then, a contract buyout last weekend in time to make him eligible for the Suns' possible postseason berth happened. Swift signed a prorated deal that will pay him about $289,000 for the remainder of the season.
Swift should have no problem with the Suns' system -- run, jump, dunk.
"I was a little bit nervous at first," Swift said. "I didn't know what to expect. After talking to coach (Alvin) Gentry, I feel comfortable with the style.
"I still feel like I have a lot of potential. There are still some things out there I can do. I've got to be more consistent at the things I do well."
Up until recently, Chicago coach Vinny Del Negro has benched Derrick Rose for long stretches in the fourth quarters of games. Del Negro has defended the move by saying the team benefited by having Kirk Hinrich on the court because he is a better defender.
The rookie, Rose, hasn't complained, but general manager John Paxson publicly criticized sitting the point guard at the end of games.
"I've talked to Vinny about this," Paxson said. "And our future is Derrick. There's no secret of that. There are times that I personally feel -- and Vinny knows this -- that I feel he should be on the floor at the end of games.
"I do think he's sitting over there a lot of times and there are reasons he plays Kirk for defensive purposes, but we've talked about the fact in order for Derrick to learn and grow as a player, situationally he's going to have to go through some things. And he's not always going to succeed, he's going to have some failures along the way, but every player does."
What makes Young exceptional, too, is that he always took education seriously. He graduated from Mitchell with a 4.3 grade point average, proving he was ahead of the curve and shook the haters by his actions early on despite intellectually lazy critics.
"I did motivational speaking in high school," Young recalled, smiling as he spoke to Philadelphia media. "They'd send me to talk to sixth graders. I was the success story around Memphis, (called) the best since Penny Hardaway. They were writing stories like 'Books Over Ball,' because I was a great academic student in high school. I always felt that, if basketball didn't work out, I'd have something to fall back on.
Quote To Note: “Now that we’re used to him, you might see all four of us cutting (to the basket) when the ball is in his hands.”—Gerald Wallace, on Boris Diaw’s passing skill.
“(Finding the right spots for three-pointers is) one of the things (Kings consultant Pete Carril) and I have been working on,” Hawes said. “I remember when I was shooting threes in grade school when they didn’t even count as threes just to prove I could do it, so I don’t think I’m going to stop shooting them anytime soon.”
This was the best of Shaq, though we saw and heard the worst of him last week in as he called it "The I hate Shaq tour" as the Suns played the Lakers, Magic and Heat, all former Shaq career stops.
On how much coverage he got from the Lakers organization, Kobe and Phil Jackson:
“Oh we had complete access. We had thirty cameras. Kobe wore a mic. And Phil Jackson allowed us to bring a camera into the locker room before the game, halftime, and after the game. Phil Jackson never does that.”
On how much editing the Lakers or the NBA did demanded?
“There was not any change suggested. And also, the method of broadcast, when it comes out on the DVD that’s out on Tuesday - it will be uncensored so there’s a lot of language. You really get a feel for what these guys are saying out there. And they’re not mincing words either.”
On his pending documentary project about Michael Jordan (things are currently still in the negotiations process for rights) and what might be in it that people don’t already know about MJ.
“Any time you get lawyers involved it gets stuck. It’s not Mike.”
“In Michael’s last season in Chicago, a camera was with him every single day during that season. And the NBA has been sitting on this footage for years. I mean, phenomenal stuff. There’s just so much amazing material and they’ve been sitting on it. And they finally realized they needed a filmmaker to make it into a film. So I’m going to go back, cut that stuff, then interview the players, the people that were a part of that great run. So it’s a fascinating look at one of the greatest athletes of all time.”
On whether or not he thinks Larry Bird was overrated:
“I never ever denied that he was a great player. What I was talking about was at that time in the league, the way the press and TV talked about the guy was like the second coming of Jesus and there was nobody else. Larry Bird this, Larry Bird that. I mean Dennis Johnson, Robert Parish, they were on that team too. And Larry Bird wasn’t doing it alone. The man’s a great ball player. I’ve always just disliked every team from Boston anyway.”
On Marvin Williams improvement:
“He has changed, he might not want to admit that. I thought after our run last year with the Celtics, we had our exit meetings and I told him he had to go home last summer and really work on extending his shot. It would really help us tremendously where they won’t be able to sag on Joe and he could help us on the backside when the ball is swung around and he did that. He’s come back this season shooting the three ball consistently and his game has gotten better too overall. He’s defending better, he’s rebounding the ball better for us and you know that’s just the sign of a pro that’s taking his job seriously and he’s working.”
Bucks forward Richard Jefferson joined WSSP in Milwaukee on Thursday to discuss the season:
“We’re extremely confident even though a lot of people haven’t had confidence in us all season. For some reason we’ve been in this spot all season long regardless of the injuries that we had early in the season and then regardless of two of our main players going out for the season we’ve still held on and still have continued to played well.”
On Coach Skiles:
“I think Coach he’s a little different in the sense that I haven’t played for a coach that played. For me it was good to be a part of a coach that has been there on both sides. He’s been a sixth man, he’s been a starter, he’s been the 12th guy on the bench. When he sits down and talks to you or gets pissed off or frustrated you understand where it’s coming from.”
リンク: Sports Radio Interviews.
MJ drafting Kwame Brown got brought up as a joke and this is what Falk said:
“That was not his decision. That was someone else’s decision. Kwame Brown was the first high school player ever drafted (#1 overall) and certain people in the organization thought that would have tremendous promotional value on ticket sales.”
On who Michael Jordan really wanted:
“Michael wanted Elton Brand. They wanted to make a trade, he wanted to bring in Elton Brand.”
On getting the gig with Playboy:
“It has a lot of benefits, but probably not the ones you’d think.”
On what he blogs about:
“Every Tuesday I do something, whether it’s about current events, what’s going on with myself, the team, what’s going on in the world. My take on fashion, women, movies, all types of stuff. Playboy’s been great to me. They get it done; they’re a very classy, business magazine. You know there’s a lot of corporate heads that read it and a lot of people in high places that can definitely help.”
A business magazine? Interesting, I had no idea.
After finding out that Farmar uses other social media tools like Facebook, he was asked if he used it to help him get laid in college:
“Not a chance.”
The biggest techno-phobe on the Lakers?
“I probably would say Adam Morrison.”
Adam Morrison’s nickname, in case you were wondering?
“We call him Buckets McGee because he has a knack for scoring.”
On his team heading down the stretch:
“We still feel we’re the only team who can beat us, and when we play how we’re supposed to we can’t be beat.”
On the strangest motivational tactic Phil Jackson has used on Farmar:
“Well it was my rookie year when I wasn’t playing much. I ate a hamburger at halftime because I was starving. I wasn’t playing, I wasn’t getting any minutes. So I didn’t think..it had been like ten or twelve games where I didn’t see the court. And he saw me eat the hamburger, he fined me, he got mad at me. It was a close game up in Seattle and he put me in and said I hope you blow it.”
Celtics are 16-4 without KG, what does that mean?
“It means that we’re playing well and that’s about it. It’s brutal without him, I can tell you that. Especially defensively. One of the things, he’s a run stopper if you guys know what I mean. The one thing I’ve always loved about Kevin, he’s a great guy to throw it down to the post and stop a run. Not having him we’re relying on a lot of jump shots and that’s very dangerous.”
リンク: Knicks Blog.
Stephon Marbury has won something. He topped the SI Players Poll in this week's magazine. The question was "Which player would you least like to have on your team?''
Marbury got 22 percent of the vote, winning in a landslide. (Quentin Richardson must have stuffed the ballot box).
Ron Artest was next with 9 percent. Kobe Bryant even made the list, at 5 percent.
“Mr. Dwyane Tyrone Wade Jr., if he’s not legitimately considered for an MVP candidate, I don’t know what he needs to do,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We are currently a playoff contender and night after night, he’s making incredible plays like this.”
“He comes in every day and says ‘I’m tired, I don’t feel like doing it right now,”’ Beasley said. “If 40 points, 46, 47 points is tired, I’d like to see him fully energized.”
It was Latin Night—“Noche Latina,” part of the NBA’s annual tribute to fans and players from Latin America and Hispanic cities—Miami wore black uniforms with “El Heat” across the chest. The Heat will wear the jerseys again Saturday at home against Utah
Item #2: Bayless vs. Telfair: A budding rivalry?
As the rest of the media horde listened, people starting trying to guess which player asked, but was not given, Roy's shoes.
"...Sebastian (Telfair)?" came one of the guesses.
"(Bleep) Sebastian," a disgusted voice said nearby.
That voice was Blazers guard Jerryd Bayless, whose locker is next to Roy's.
There were a few "oohs" when he said it, and jokingly I turned to Bayless and said "Quote, unquote", playfully threatening to quote him.
"I don't care,'' Bayless said, cinching up his tie.
Later, I went back to Bayless and made sure I could quote him.
"As long as you don't use the cuss word,'' Bayless said.
Item #1: Parting gifts
Remember earlier this season when I wrote about Martell Webster asking for LeBron James' shoes last season, and how the coaching staff and his teammates rode him unmercifully for doing that during a game?
Well, the only player on the team who vehemently stuck up for Webster was Brandon Roy.
Happens all the time, Roy said. He said opponents ask him for his jersey or signed shoes nearly every game.
So on Saturday night, after Roy scored 31 points to lead the Blazers to a 95-93 win over Minnesota, he came out of the showers and immediately signed his Nike shoes. As he was getting dressed, a clubhouse attendant came over and asked for the shoes.
"They are right there,'' Roy pointed. "But hey, who are they for?''
The clubhouse attendant said he didn't know, only that the request came from the Minnesota locker room.
"Mark Madsen,'' another attendant said. "The shoes are for Mark Madsen.''
Roy looked up at me.
"See. Told you. Every game.''
I said it must not have been during the game - Madsen didn't play - but Roy said he was asked by a Timberwolves player for his shoes during the fourth quarter.
"And it wasn't the player I gave the shoes to, either,'' Roy said.
"There's always got to be an established respect for the coach," Matt Harpring said. "Without that, the inmates would be running the asylum. I guess you can't actually make a guy come off the floor. I don't know …"
Harpring turned to veteran teammate Brevin Knight and asked: "What would you do?"
"If I'm in charge," said Knight, "you get your ass off the court."
"I don't even want to know what would happen if anyone tried that with him," Kyle Korver said. "That only happens when someone thinks they're bigger than everyone and everything else. And that's not going to happen here."
"It wouldn't be pretty," said C.J. Miles, half-laughing, half-shuddering. "You either wouldn't play the rest of the year, or you'd get kicked off the team. And if you didn't come out, he'd probably go out and pull you off the floor."
Said Ronnie Brewer: "You don't really touch a subject like that here. There's too much respect for [Sloan], and for the game. You don't embarrass the coach like that. If you embarrass him, he'll embarrass you. There's too much character on this team for anybody to do that."
"We'd come out," Miles said. "No doubt."
"Wheeeeewww," added Paul Millsap.
"Heckling and having a good time are two different animals," he explained. "I wasn't heckling the President and I don't heckle the players. I talk about their weaknesses. We was having a good time. He was talking trash and I was talking trash. I couldn't believe he was that laidback and real. I loved it."
And while they talked through much of the game, Rawls--who had never met a President--said no lines were crossed. "I wasn't disrespectful," he said. "I know my limits."
"We was just going back and forth," Rawls said. "Once Chicago started coming back, he told me, 'Now I think you need to sit down.' When Tyrus Thomas dunked on somebody, he turned around, was talking smack. Then JaVale McGee had that alley-oop, and he gave me the high five. We was just supporting each others' team, having a good time."
"Where can you do that, sit there and talk smack with the President of the United States face to face?" he asked me. "He's the President, but he's subject to my fun too. I have a no-holds-barred rule."
"But he enjoyed it," Rawls added. "Trust me."
"That's the word, disappear," Arenas said. "Disappear out of everybody's mind. Two things people don't respect any more: people who play through injuries and people who come back from injuries. We don't respect that like we used to."
I asked Brendan why Gilbert had adopted such a different media strategy during their recent rehabs; "See, me and Gil are different," Haywood said. "Gil's trying a lot of that Superhero, Superman, Change-in-the-phonebooth, Come-out-of-nowhere-and-shock-the-world type stuff. Me personally, I'm just trying to get healthy, make sure I don't get re-injured, do any more damage, and come back when I'm at full strength.")
“The thing now is I get to look at other teams that are getting to go through what we went through. So I look at a team like Boston and I think, It’s great while them guys are together, but there’s going to come a time soon that they’re not going to be together. And that’s when things change. But when you’re together, enjoy it, because it’s an unbelievable experience when you’ve got a veteran group of guys who are successful.”
Shaq jokingly calls Davis, who followed in his footsteps at LSU, "my son."
"I was 14 or 15, and I went to his house and I was hanging with Shaq," Davis says. "He says to me, 'Let's go outside and wrestle.' We started wrestling. I pinned him down. He couldn't budge me."
The 7-1, 325-pound O'Neal confirms the story.
"He picked me up and body-slammed me," says Shaq. "That's when I knew he was for real."
Davis and the Celtics recently beat Shaq's Phoenix Suns at the Garden. At one point, Davis planted himself in front of the basket in front of a runaway Diesel to get the charge call.
"I was thinking, 'I'm going to die,' " says Big Baby. "He later told me how proud he was of me. Shaquille and Kevin [Garnett] are my best all-time players. To be on the same team as Kevin Garnett is such a privilege."
After several seasons of controversy ranging from legal issues to on-the-court altercations that led to mountains of suspensions, Artest is finally figuring out how to keep his nose clean.
"This is the first season I've had where I can just let the story happen instead of me creating the story," Artest says. "That's been different for me. I can just go out there and play basketball and not worry about how people will look at me after the suspension, or how people will look at me after getting in trouble at practice.
"It's been an adjustment," he admits. "A good adjustment."
The way Artest tells it, his success this season has been all about maturing. "When I was young it was just a new environment and I didn't know how to adapt. I wanted to do things how I was used to doing them, and getting used that was hard.
He adds, "Getting into the NBA I had some coaches, some players, some veterans help me with that. Where LeBron James is at age 23, it took me years and years to get to that point. I wish I could've been like that."
"When we lost when I was in Chicago it did not sit with me well," he recalls. "Now that I'm older, when I lose games I just go to the gym and work out. Before I'd get mad at a coach or a player, or get mad at myself and get frustrated. That just wasn't working."
Now, with Tracy McGrady out, Artest has been pegged as the offensive and defensive heart and soul of the team. This opportunity in Houston has been godsend for him, and he's not lost on valuable this break is.
"I got a lot of second chances," he admits. "That's the good thing about living in America is you get a lot of second chances. I've had five chances, nine lives, more lives than a cat."
Even nine lives run out eventually, though, and Artest explains that he has no desire to push limits anymore. "I don't want to use [those lives]. I don't want to feel like I have the option to use them. I'm a good place right now with my game, my career, my life."
''I can't tell you,'' O'Neal said when asked to disclose details after Tuesday's practice. ``But we made an agreement on things I need to do to keep the headband. I plan on keeping the headband. I don't want people to think Coach Riley is getting soft.''
''After wearing a headband for 10 years, you feel it's a part of you,'' O'Neal said. ``It's like coming out of the house with no underwear. You feel naked. I appreciate [Riley] for allowing me to wear it.''
What has Shaq said?
Well, it's all pretty much a variation on the same adolescent theme: I'm the original NBA Superman and Dwight can't carry my, er, cape.
"You know, it's normal for a kid to copycat his idol, but you know he can never be this good," Shaq has said.
Shaq was asked by CBSSports.com's Ken Berger recently if Howard was the closest thing to being the next Shaq. O'Neal scoffed.
"No. Not at all. He's a good player. He can jump. But no," he said. "I was the type of player that they had to have secret meetings and change the rules and do all that. Probably never be another me. He's a good player, but everything he's done, I've invented. So I'm not impressed."
Sports Illustrated asked O'Neal — who sports a Superman tattoo and often wears Superman pajama bottoms to practice — whether Howard's Superman shtick bothered him.
"Doesn't bother me. I can't be impressed by something I invented in '92 [his first year in Orlando]. I mean, you look at what he is doing, I've been there and done that," O'Neal said. "Every street he is driving down in Orlando, I have been on that street. Every nightclub, every restaurant. ... I have been there and done that.
"Until he wins three, four championships, then we can talk about him. But right now, he is just like every other big guy: 'You can run and jump, but you haven't won yet.' "
Ouch. Ouch. And ouch.
“You can tell they’re playing the system they played before Iverson got there,” said Celtics forward Paul Pierce, who scored 26. “When Iverson is out there they’re still trying to figure out how to use each other, how to all be successful. But that group that’s out there is definitely comfortable because they’ve played together for years.”
Bryant made two 3s and converted a three-point play on a driving layup and foul by O’Neal during the surge.
Bryant had a tooth knocked out of place when he was hit in the mouth during that run.
“Don’t ask me nothing funny. I’m not smiling. You’re not seeing my tooth,” he said afterward. “It feels foul. It feels like I can’t chew anything, like Roger Rabbit or something.”
After his 45-point game against Toronto on Friday night, O’Neal has consecutive 30-point games for the first time since March 5-7, 2004, when he and Bryant were teammates in Los Angeles.
“It’s what I do,” O’Neal said. “I’ve been doing it since 1992. If you don’t believe it, Google me.”
O’Neal, who turns 37 on Friday, is the fourth player over 35 in NBA history to score at least 33 points in consecutive games. The others are Michael Jordan, Karl Malone and Alex English.
“A lot of people thought I lost it,” O’Neal said. “It’s kind of funny to me, when I say ‘I’m injured,’ no one believes me. Last year I was injured and this year I’m feeling pretty good.”
Obama cracked a joke about wanting to stand next to the 6-foot-3-inch Gordon during a photo shoot and invited the team back for pickup basketball when he converts an outdoor tennis court.
"I'm just amazed at how personable he is," Gordon said. "He's way above average, but he just seems like an average guy. He made everybody feel comfortable in the room."
Center Brad Miller said he had a red dress shirt sent via overnight mail just so he could break out a red-white-and-blue ensemble for the visit. The players took a tour of the White House that included a stop at the one-lane bowling alley, where guard Derrick Rose said he threw a gutter ball.
"I was too nervous," Rose said.
Hinrich joked about Obama wanting to post up Gordon. Did Gordon talk smack back to the leader of the free world?
"Nah," Gordon said. "I just laughed. It's good to know our president has a sense of humor.
"Plus, he invited us back to the White House, so I didn't need to talk any smack back to him. I'll probably just dunk on him in the summertime to get him back."
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