Thursday Bullets

  • Is Del Harris done on the bench in Dallas? If so, that's big.

  • At the beginning of this past regular season, I got an email from a Blazer fan who had just gotten a tattoo of the Blazer logo on his chest. He wanted to make clear he was with the team in the bad times, so no one would accuse him of jumping on the bandwagon in the good times. Jeremy emails that his tattoo just got a lot cooler: "I got a lot of "why would you get that team tattoo?" and "the blazers suck" and of course the old "jailblazer" garbage when I told people about it. I'm in Ohio (Columbus actually -- somehow being where Oden plays makes me feel like I was a part of this whole thing) right now but I can't wait to get back to Portland and feel the energy. I got my tattoo last year so I showed my support when we were at the bottom. It's going to be great when we're back at the top in a few years."

  • Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer says the NBA should learn from NASCAR: "Had Stoudemire and Diaw been available, does Phoenix win Game 5? There's no way to know. We know only that a bad interpretation of a good rule prevented us from finding out. Everybody rips NASCAR for its loose interpretation of the rules. NASCAR has a rule book with words and numbers just like every other major sport. But NASCAR doesn't use it. NASCAR's real rule book has but one rule: Don't let the rules ruin the show. If that rule had been applied to the NBA, Stoudemire and Diaw would not have been suspended. Robert Horry is to the basketball court what debris is to the race track. NASCAR is not going to punish stars because of the reckless action of a scrub. The ultimate injustice is that Horry, who was suspended for two games, is playing for the Western Conference championship. At least NASCAR removes its debris." There's irony here: I firmly believe that if the NBA was as racially homogenous as NASCAR, they wouldn't even have that rule. There's a race element behind the reality that NBA players fighting is seen as a national tragedy, while MLB or NASCAR professionals fighting is seen as boys being boys.

  • A bunch of Knick bloggers are describing great Knick memories. Episodes one and two are up now.

  • Sources tell the Charlotte Observer that Dallas assistant coach, and former Michael Jordan teammate, Sam Vincent is the new head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats.

  • Concerns about Greg Oden's sense of fashion.

  • Listen up Boston, Memphis, and Milwaukee: ESPN's John Hollinger told you months ago (Insider) that tanking doesn't pay.

  • Nate Jones on fixing LeBron James. I'd add working with a shooting coach. I get a lot of emails from basketball people who are amazed that his form varies from shot to shot, which many people out there believe they can fix. The problem, however, is time. He's about to have another baby, and he has Team USA to worry about. Not much off-season for LBJ.

  • The Sixers have three first round picks in a nice draft. Billy King's job, I'd wager, depends on getting this right.

  • Remember the unnatural movement that got Kobe Bryant suspended? There's a video case to be made that he's not the only one.

  • About the 1:30 mark, check out the incredible out-of-bounds save. Look how the opponents are all deflated.

  • Lenny Wilkens sounds oddly defensive and weird in this interview, but makes one point I had been wondering about: does a Greg Oden or a Kevin Durant change the minds of some legislators about paying for an arena? At some point in the next couple of years, it might be politically smart to be associated with this team. Wilkens thinks it does make a difference.

  • LeBron James is getting heat on the Darfur thing.

  • Great video of the TV introduction to the 1976 NBA Finals.

  • Mike Miller gives a million dollars to a children's hospital.

  • Boston Celtic pity party.

  • In the four minutes a week I'm not watching basketball, writing about basketball, being a dad, or sleeping, I'm reading this book.

  • The case that the lottery and draft system are not broken.

  • I had a dream last night that Stan Van Gundy became the next coach of the Orlando Magic. Maybe he's working with my vision.

  • Video of staff reaction of the draft lottery in the SuperSonic offices. When it was time for the third pick to be announced, they were all chanting "Portland, Portland ..."

  • The lottery, in its way, was kind to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

  • ESPN's David Thorpe (Insider) has a prescription for LeBron James tonight: "As for James, he needs to convert easy opportunities in transition and initiate contact with Prince on his drives to get to the free-throw line. He had zero attempts in Game 1. As expected, Prince's defensive prowess caused James some problems, and Wallace just made it that much more difficult. The Pistons' length is tough to beat at the rim, so James should go to his mid-range game. Not at 18 feet, but 10-15 feet."

  • Just have to get this off my chest, as I'm still getting emails from Phoenix fans who are feeling sorry for themselves about the lottery. What part of Joe Johnson for Boris Diaw, another first-rounder, and Atlanta's unprotected 2008 pick is Atlanta supposed to pity you for? Not to mention you're one of the best teams in the league, and you have two first-rou
    nders to go with some unbelievable talent.

  • Fixing the Nets.

  • My daughter's clothespin butterfly good luck charm made the New York Post. Bless you, Marc Berman, who goes on to recommend that James Dolan make an offer for it to use next year.

  • Dan Shanoff's new blog on raising a good sports fan.

  • To be taken with several grains of salt: A shard of an idea from Miami has Zach Randolph to Miami and Udonis Haslem to Portland. Or how about Randolph to New Jersey for Richard Jefferson?

  • UPDATE: Sounds like Rick Adelman owes his new job in large part to the rave review Clyde Drexler gave owner Leslie Alexander.

  • UPDATE: At the lottery, Kevin Pritchard also had a good luck charm made by his daughter.