July, 16, 2010
By Henry Abbott
- David Thorpe (Insider) on DeMarcus Cousins in summer league: "Cousins was as special as advertised -- and as immature. He left no doubt that he was the second-best prospect in the draft, with incredible displays of talent including great passing, energized play, terrific skills and a love of the game. But he also showed why teams passed on him even though he was so clearly deserving of the second overall pick. He was constantly talking to his opponents in inappropriate ways and reacting too much to some calls. He can outgrow his immaturity, but no one else in this draft can grow to Cousins' talent level if he continues to work." Thorpe also says "If he were 60 pounds lighter," Dexter Pittman "would be an NBA player.
- Kobe Bryant's 81-point game, seen through the lens of the book "The White Boy Shuffle" that Phil Jackson once asked Bryant to read. And, just for fun, a 1997 Kobe Bryant dunk.
- A discussion of Kevin Pelton's big analysis of contracts ends with this thought from Basketball-Reference's Neil Paine: "The moral of the story is this: go all-in with your superstars, but when filling the rest of your roster, stick to the low-budget model of building through the draft and signing useful low-priced FA’s. And whatever you do, don't give long-term deals to middling players, because you will get burned."
- How Tiago Splitter can fit in with the San Antonio Spurs.
- Caffeine may soon be considered a performance enhancing drug in some sports. This perfectly illustrates my thoughts on PEDs. If the audience uses it in huge numbers, and understands it, then it's fine. Not only does that ensure the sports leagues will stay in step -- and not vastly ahead of -- current thoughts about safety. But it also works to satisfy a market need. If fans don't know what's in "the clear" or EPO or whatever athletes are taking, do they really want to spend real money to cheer for the sports stars, when the real stars are unseen people in lab coats? You want to cheer the athletes, and if they're running on fuel that you understand, that's easy to do. And I think people are happy to cheer on the coffee drinkers.
- If the owners succeed in bringing salaries down, would that lead to cheaper tickets? Are those things even related?
- Danny Ainge says the Celtics have had conversations with Shaquille O'Neal's people, but implies that with Jermaine O'Neal it would be unlikely they'd sign him. One can only have so many O'Neals.
- Jordan Hill's trouble in the post.
- A look at how much teams are paying free agents this summer per win.
- Matt Bonner makes Tas Melas a sandwich. If you ever find yourself shopping for Bonner's lunch, buy pickles, dammit.
- The Clippers have talked running more, and their summer league team has some players who are showing they can do that.
- Remember how Brandon Jennings seemed far more valuable once he was freed from the systemic approach of his European team? Dominic James, playing for the Bucks, has some of that happening for him, too. (And please, don't confuse him with Maverick first-round pick Dominique Jones.)
- Matt Barnes is being coy in teasing about where he might play next.