Wednesday Bullets

  • Pat Riley says Jason Williams will need several more weeks to recover from knee surgery. It's no secret Gary Payton is older than dirt. Which means the Heat really need a point guard. Ira Winderman also reports that Pat Riley sounds really interested in Bonzi Wells.

  • Steve Kerr previews the Eastern Conference. He puts the Heat first, and the Bulls ahead of the Pistons. Then it's Cavaliers, Nets, Wizards, Pacers, and Bucks. Just missing the playoffs are the Magic and Raptors. Down at the bottom of the list, the Knicks are ranked ahead of the Celtics, Sixers, Hawks, and Bobcats.

  • Listening in on a conference call of those who control the Nets. Lots of Ratners!

  • Dirk Nowitzki gets an extension that is thought to be about $60 million for three years, which will keep him in Dallas through 2011, when he will be 33.

  • Doug Christie swears he has the old explosiveness back. Should be easy enough to test. And if he's right, who wouldn't want a long, tough defender who scores when left open?

  • Remember during the playoffs there was talk about Pat Riley needing hip surgery? He was said to be in massive pain. Well, he still hasn't had the surgery. That has to be a little worrisome for the Heat.

  • J.E. Skeets sees magic in Kirk Hinrich.

  • David Friedman quotes Gus Alfieri, talking about Carl Braun, an early NBA great: "He earned $150,000 in 15 years. OK, money was different but it still shakes out as peanuts. His quote, which I have at the beginning of one of my chapters, is: 'We would go anyplace to play. We loved the game.’ I don’t get that feeling of love anymore. I get the feeling of, ‘Hey, we’re in business, we’ve got agents, we’ve got other things on our minds.’ Who among our best players really cares about international play?"

  • Mark Cuban has recommendations for referees. He's also buying the next round.

  • Wizznutzz on Washington Times columnist Tom Knott: "The Knotty One is our favorite writer and our biggest influence. He can turn a phrase and then turn it again and then onece again and then once more so that the rotisserie chicken ends up more like wild boar."

  • Russ Bengston: "What I should have written about earlier (and I guess it’s not too late) was Chris Mannix’s column on SI.com where he picked the Bulls to win it all this season. I mean, I’m as big a Bulls fan as there is, and even I think he was smoking something when he wrote that. I ain’t mad at the current squad—and I love love LOVE the fact that they swiped Ben Wallace from the Pistons, even if they had to slide him some extra cheddar—but I don’t see them as a championship team quite yet." Bengston picks Dallas.

  • Byron Scott's daughter in an SUV + a keychain fob holding marijuana = arrested.

  • NBA Quiz.

  • SLAMonline asked me to preview the Blazers.

  • Basketball game as hip hop concert.