August, 3, 2011
By Henry Abbott
- Trying to get under Kevin Durant's skin, a New York heckler first calls him "Baby LeBron." Then a small group taunts him by chanting, of all things, "Russell Westbrook." Durant had the last laugh, though, sending the game to overtime with a 3, then winning it.
- Watch Kemba Walker in action. He does a lot of great stuff. My concern: In the pick and roll, he's just about always doubled, which sometimes leaves teammates (either the roll man, or somebody on the wing) incredibly open. I hope he sees that, and is deciding to shoot anyway. Because if he doesn't see that, that's tough to learn. And in the NBA, where almost everybody can shoot and easy baskets are hard to come by, you simply have to see that guy and get him the ball.
- Reality TV producers looking to connect in the NBA: Stan Van Gundy would make one hell of an interesting show. He's about as outspoken as they get, and his brother brags impressively about Stan's legendary free throw shooting ability.
- The kings of the cheap buckets.
- "Not it" to guard Eric Gordon at the buzzer of this Indy Pro-Am game.
- Notes from Lawrence Frank's introductory press conference, where he talks about the importance of "competency." Pretty sure the better word is "competence."
- There are a lot of NBA expenses that are not related to players. For instance, China. How is that working out?
- Suddenly it is clear. In Boston, they will be discussing the trade of Kendrick Perkins forever. Literally, forever.
- One good season: The story of Bobby Simmons.
- Great quote from Long Beach State's Edis Dervisevic, as told to ESPNLosAngeles' Pedro Moura, after a strong game against Austin Daye: "That's all I can do, man: go out there and play my hardest. And trash talk a little bit, because I'm from New York."
- Beckley Mason on HoopSpeak: "At first I assumed that the owners were simply starting from an absurdly low offer as a hardline bargaining tactic that would force the union into concessionary bargaining. It seemed to be working, and I still think the players would be willing to dip down to around 52 percent BRI (or about $150 million less than they collectively receive now) if the owners presented a reasonable proposal. But being reasonable doesn’t seem to be a part of the plan."
- More college does not equal more NBA success.
- Which Gasol brother is more valuable at this stage?
- Innovative thinking about the "N-word" from Dick Gregory, who is also quoted in Robert Lipsyte's new book: “Last time I was down South, I walked into this restaurant, and this white waitress came up to me and said, ‘We don’t serve colored people here.’ I said, ‘That’s all right, I don’t eat colored people. Bring me a whole fried chicken.’"
- In retirement, Shaquille O'Neal says he weighs 335. He also talks about how he can fit into small things like Mini Coopers, and I can vouch that I have seen him looking fairly comfortable in a middle coach seat flying home from All-Star years ago. He also says that a tenth of his tweets are just "to sell stuff."