Wednesday Bullets

  • Roughly a decade into his NBA career, Jermaine O'Neal gets the whole "keep your hands up on defense thing" that my eighth grade coach harped on so much. And O'Neal learned it from an old Hakeem Olajuwon video. Just for fun, here are ten minutes of Hakeem Olajuwon highlights. You watch that, and you have to wonder whether or not anyone has ever been better.

  • Bernard King, Isiah Thomas, Hubie Brown, Chuck Daly in video of one of the greatest games in NBA history.

  • It's your duty, as a basketball fan, to know a thing or two about Joe Lapchick. Here's an interview with his biographer, and an invite to hear the biographer speak this evening in New York City.

  • Video of the Allen Iverson vs. Andre Miller meeting, which Andre Miller's team won. Allen Iverson is still a little bitter towards Billy King and Maurice Cheeks, although it's not totally clear exactly why. Chris Tomasson reports: "'Those people had a chance to give me the respect that I deserved. They weren't willing to do that, and why should I try to give any respect back?' Iverson was discussing 76ers president Billy King and coach Maurice Cheeks, whom he said he wouldn't greet before Tuesday's game and didn't." Iverson reportedly wanted input into some team decisions--for instance he didn't like Andre Iguodala playing point guard. David Aldridge points out that Maurice Cheeks should understand Allen Iverson's predicament.

  • Dave D'Alessandro wants the Nets to hire Pete Carrill as an assistant coach: "My arguments are purely selfish. First, Pete has gravitas, and since this could get very boring in the next few weeks or months, it would be nice to write about interesting people saying interesting things (that includes the other assistants) about this team for a change. Second, if this continues to get as tedious as it has been, they're going to need some positive press in the upcoming months (and years). Having said all that, it's not going to happen, because Pete called Ratner (paraphrasing here) a clueless pinhead two years ago for taking the team out of Jersey, and owners don't tend to stretch the payroll to include hecklers. Last I talked to Pete -- this was about a year ago -- he told me that he was going to move back to Jersey to be closer to the grandkids, but that he still wanted to coach."

  • The Nets part ways with Jeff McInnis's contract.

  • Ron Artest's head is back on for the moment, and Tom Ziller is deciding which playoff seeding he'd prefer for Sacramento.

  • Greg Oden had a good game.

  • Which soon-to-be NBA players does William Wesley have his eye on? I have heard from more than one source that the list includes Texas freshman Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose (who will stop by Memphis on his way to the NBA).

  • The Lakers are better with Kwame Brown (who is out with an injury) than with his replacement Andrew Bynum. Forum Blue and Gold: "When the regular five starters (Smush, Kobe, Walton and Odom) are paired with Bynum they outscore opponents by 1.1 points per 48 minutes, but put Brown in with them and its 4.5 points. It’s not shooting; their shooting percentages are almost identical (55.9 for Drew, 56.1 for UPS). The difference is in how the offense seems to flow with them — Kwame has about 16.8% of his possessions end in an assist while 15.7% end in a turnover, but for Bynum it is 12.6% assists and 18% turnovers."

  • Why is it so hard to play on the road?

  • Despite what you may see with your own eyes, Antoine Walker is not struggling. Really.

  • Spotted in the NBA: the box and one defense. That's where four guys play zone, and one guy stays glued to the dominant scorer. Usually it's considered insane to let an NBA offense go four-on-four. But against the Sonics, with no Rashard Lewis, and Ray Allen as the "one," well, it was worth a shot.

  • Brian Windhorst has important news about Scot Pollard's Christmas presents: "Scot Pollard's wife gave him five new giant belt buckles for Christmas, which he's already started sporting on those many nights when he's inactive and dressed up on the sideline. His favorite? The one with a bottle opener on it with the word 'cerveza' (Spanish for beer, in case you didn't know). He says it'll be a hit at the bars. Of course Scot's wife also gave him that Mohawk hair cut he loves so much as well."

  • David Berri, author of Wages of Wins, wants you to know that he is clever at naming book chapters: "For example, in the chapter discussing NFL quarterbacks is a section reviewing the career of Brett Favre entitled 'There’s Something About Brett.' As noted in the end notes of the book, this heading was inspired by the movie There’s Something About Mary, which stars Brett Favre..." The other one he singles out or special praise is "You Say You Want an Evolution." Wonder how he thought of that one.