Thursday Bullets

  • Yao Ming says it's too soon to know if he'll be playing next season, but so far everything looks good. And ... the unrestricted free agent would like to stay with the Rockets. So, how much do you pay a guy like that? I'm guessing you have to pay him the max, but for how many years?

  • Nike projects that a single LeBron James title could lead to a $4 billion bump in Chinese revenues. $4 billion approximates the entire NBA's revenues, as a business.

  • The Lakers assess their relationship with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

  • Watch about the 5:40 mark of this video -- two phantom calls on Jason Terry from the same referee. (Via Kelly Dwyer)

  • Chauncey Billups, one of the weaker defenders on a Knicks team that underperforms because of poor defense, tells ESPN New York's Jared Zwerdling: "Oh, man. I'm telling you, defense wins, brotha."

  • In a conversation about whether or not the lottery is rigged, Tony Kornheiser suggests that the NBA has the right to rig such a thing if they're so inclined. Lawyer Howard Wasserman, on Sports Law Blog, disagrees: "I agree with Kornheiser in one respect -- the NBA could dump the lottery altogether and establish a draft order based on arbitrary favoritism or a desire to help one team or another (the Chicago Bulls were assigned the first pick in the ABA Dispersal Draft in 1976 so they could draft Artis Gilmore). Just as the league could start pre-determining winners. But it has to be transparent and above board that this is how things are being done and this is why. And it no longer can sell itself as sport."

  • Delayed gratification, and being Russell Westbrook.

  • "There is no hot hand," says the owner of the Wizards. Maybe if he owned the Mavericks he'd feel differently. Ba dum bum.

  • Kevin Arnovitz on Dwyane Wade's defense: "During the six-minute stretch he was guarded by Wade, Rose never attempted a field goal. James relieved Wade midway through the fourth quarter, as Wade slid over to guard Deng -- who had no better success against Wade than Rose had. Yet Wade wasn't done tormenting Rose. With the Bulls on their last legs, down seven with 1:20 remaining in the game, Rose drew Wade on the switch. Rose tried to push ahead with the ball, but couldn't make a dent past 21 feet, so he reversed course and pitched the ball over to Deng, who sent it right back. Wade was locked in, yielding maybe 18 inches to the MVP. Rose took a single dribble to his left, then launched from beyond the arc. The shot never reached the rim. Wade got his fingertips on the ball."

  • Healthy Udonis Haslem all year would have changed a lot.

  • Dirk Nowitzki vs. Larry Bird in advanced stats.

  • Kyle Weidie of TruthAboutIt: "For discussions on a championship level, the rebuild around John Wall commands another superstar, as many will gladly point out. Wall is no LeBron James. He’s no Kevin Durant, no Kobe Bryant no Dirk Nowitzki. He might be a Derrick Rose, one day, but even Rose, a League MVP, will never be able to win a championship alone with Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng as his supporting cast. This sentiment could come back to bite me, but I doubt it. At the very end of the third quarter in Wednesday night’s Heat-Bulls game, when Rose jetted with the ball past Dwyane Wade only to be thwarted by an imposing James while Wade caught up and poked a steal from behind, it was evident that Rose is depended upon too much for his team to win. He needs high-caliber help."