Magic fans are voting, essentially to decide whether or not their team has a rival. My thought is, if you're conducing polls, you're probably not in a rivalry that means much of anything. To underscore that point: Boston is winning that poll. Which makes me think if some other team had been the last to kick the Magic out of the playoffs, they'd be favorites. Which means those bad feelings are about a playoff series, not a rivalry.
Charles Barkley sure appeared to go to Phoenix chasing a ring. And now he's sticking it to LeBron James for doing something similar.
From the archives: Robert Horry doing what Robert Horry does.
A Nuggets fan who has put in a lot of thought suggests his team make a series of trades that would turn Carmelo Anthony, Ty Lawson and the expiring contracts of J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin into Jason Kidd, Tyson Chandler, Gerald Wallace and some other stuff. My guess is that the Bobcats won't part with their first-ever All-Star for expiring contracts, but I love this kind of scheming.
Danny Granger is not playing much in Turkey, and the reason appears to be defense.
He almost certainly could have made an NBA team, but James Singleton is going to play in China instead. Holy changing global marketplace.
Don't count on the exit of Chris Bosh leading to the emergence of Andrea Bargnani.
Breaking down the wild ending of the Serbia-Croatia game.
An interview with Bob Donewald, the American who coaches the Chinese national team.
There was, famously, an argument and a scuffle in the stands of the U.S. Open last week. Now sports lawyer Michael McCann discusses the legal ramifications of what you can see on video of the event. One of the things McCann says is: "If the police had the video at the time they detained the participants, the participants probably would have been arrested." This is kind of a "whoa" moment for me. I have seen exactly what happened on video. You probably have, too. But at the time of making the most important decision in the case, the police had not? (We all know they could have walked around that part of the stands and asked: "Does anybody have this thing on video?") In a world where every darned thing is videotaped, it seems almost crazy to make decisions that ignore that evidence. This reminds of the predicament NBA referees find themselves in. Sometimes the people watching at home have seen the whole thing in slow motion high-definition and really know if, say, the player stepped out of bounds or not. But they have to call it in real time and then stand around on camera looking foolish to fans who are better positioned to make use of modern video technology. I suspect there are big changes coming in how all these things are handled. Also, one last note about that video: I'll never understand the people who insist on yelling angry things all sporting event long. A comment here or there, who cares. But all game? Even if that is their right, why is it fun? We also have the right to, say, lick the seats. But it's just plain nasty. In my mind, this is plainly jerky behavior. However, do they need to be stopped by the powers that be? How does my freedom to enjoy the game interact with their freedom to holler? Not sure I love the idea of lots of nannying from the security guards, either.
Two of the best players at the FIBA World Championship over the past few days -- Goran Dragic and Hedo Turkoglu -- are teammates on the Suns. And they'll play each other in an elimination game tomorrow.
After a slower season, it's widely accepted that Tony Parker is on the decline. But he's only 28!
When the U.S. plays Russia, they'll face a coach with more than a few tricks up his sleeve. The Painted Area's Jay Aych says you can expect the Russians to play extremely solid defense: "6-9 Sergei Monia is Russia's best all-around player in [Viktor] Khryapa's absence. Monia can shoot, pass, rebound and defend. Monia is one of the best defenders in this tourney, great help defender. Monia has been solid in six games with 11 points per game, 4.7 rebounds per game, 3 assists per game and 47% on 3-pointers. If you had to pick someone in this tourney who could best guard Kevin Durant, Monia might be your first choice (Khryapa if healthy). Not saying Monia will have any effect on Durant, just saying he's the best choice."
John Krolik of Cavs: The Blog: "I say this as somebody who follows maybe three NBA players on Twitter -- Mo Williams’ Twitter is kind of delightful. There’s something about posting a picture of baking chicken with the caption 'yup' that I just find endearing."
Wondering about players who shoot well from the floor, but poorly at the free throw line. How could that be? My guess is that shooting in play is a test of shooting form. Shooting at the free throw line is that, plus a test of how well you perform with everybody staring at you, and we all know that can do funny things to any of us. You ever seen a really nervous person on TV, for instance? Free throws can be like that.
One of Jerryd Bayless' favorite things about being an NBA player is that he can use his celebrity power to help a scared kid stop crying.