August, 23, 2010
By Henry Abbott
- By demonstrating extraordinary loyalty with a smooth contract process, and then looking very strong for Team USA, its hard to imagine anyone is having a better summer, in terms of PR, than Kevin Durant. For all those NBA fans who have soured on the new breed powerbroker LeBron James, Durant could emerge as the old fashioned lunch bucket traditional ballplayer alternative superstar.
- The players who have been part of the NBA's best-ever defensive teams.
- Derrick Rose's crossover works nicely twice. Alas, that's only part of the battle -- it's too bad he doesn't get a bucket out of the deal. At least not that time. Later, he made amends on a play that featured Ricky Rubio being erased from the play too easily for my liking by a Lamar Odom pick. (Rubio had his moments, however.)
- Team USA's crunch time zone in action on video.
- It's hard to find anybody who thinks the Lakers won't win the West.
- Why social media + sports = something that matters.
- J.R. Smith is a superb, long and explosive athlete who can shoot from anywhere. Who wouldn't want him? Perhaps, according to reports, the Nuggets who employ him currently. Should your team pick him up? He's not winning any nice guy awards, and his own coach has called him a "good bad player" in reference to his various shortcomings in mastering the team system, which are overcome somewhat by his attributes and skill. In my mind, a team with strong leadership -- the Celtics, Heat or Spurs -- would do well to experiment with Smith.
- If he had not signed a contract extension, Steve Nash would have also been a free agent this summer. He could have presumably commanded a ton of money. As the league leader in making his teammates better, you have to think he also may have been able to assemble one of those super teams.
- Why didn't Rajon Rondo play against Spain? My guess is that it's simply bad tactics for Team USA to stage a mock World Championships in an exhibition game. You have to hold something back, because going full-bore sets up the meaningful matchup in a strange way. For example, if the U.S. wins a close game, or loses, with a full roster, they might feel like they have a lot to fear from Spain. If they win a laugher, it might be hard to fear Spain enough. By playing without a full roster, the players get to tell themselves that they are close to Spain, but haven't really played their best ball yet. That's a good position to be in.
- The U.S. is playing more zone in no small part to help with rebounding.
- Jazz fans booed the pick of Gordon Hayward, which puts Hayward in the company of John Stockton.
- Is Derrick Favors the next Kwame Brown?
- Mark Cuban is urging you not to invest in the stock market, and instead to save cash to invest after the next calamity, whatever that may be.
- Thanks to some leaked documents from baseball teams, we know more than ever about the finance of sports. Does this have any implications for the NBA's collective bargaining agreement? Is it harder than it once was for the owners to cry poverty? Or does baseball tell us nothing about basketball?
- Yi Jianlian is in Vogue.
- PG-13, obviously, but here's a little video of NBA players swearing on camera.